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tv   Federal Oversight of Abandoned Offshore Oil Gas Infrastructure  CSPAN  January 5, 2022 1:03am-2:45am EST

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infrastructure no longer in use. >> hurricane ida tour to the gulf knocking out power and wondering communication. residents are still recovering today. active pipelines and platforms were the sources of some spills and with the source of
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others the most goals oil spills identified from space since the government started to track using satellites almost a decade ago. we should not view this as a one-off event or a freak accident. there are thousands of oil and gas structures in the gulf including platforms and wellheads and power cables and with environmental and safety risks. some of thisur infrastructure and some is abandoned. but it's allll aging and a
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growing concern for communities and wildlife impacted by spills and taxpayers that may be forced to pay for the eventual removal. the climate change more powerful wind waves and mudslides is a growing threat capable of moving pipelines and destroying structures. strong federal regulations of the offshore infrastructure is essential to reduce future spills and other impacts to protect taxpayers to shoulder the clear cost. with a huge and growing problem in the gulf of mexico
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as californians have recently experienced there's also a crisis in the pacific leading around huntington beach and newport beach recorded oil he smells and the epa national response center received reports of an unknown sheen on the water surface. the coast guard confirmed the spill the next day and since then local state and federal officials and volunteers and then to contain and cleanup the spell andov began to investigate the causes. over the past two weeks we have learned considerable details about the san pedroli pipeline amplified energy response and a timeline of
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events that led to the rupture. it may have felt in drag the pipeline over 100 feet damaging it causing this / that led to the release of tens of thousands of gallons of oil. this bakes several questions and raisingue issues. did the pipeline move or become unsecure on the seafloor creating a hazard for commercial vessels? was the pipeline inspected correctly is required in recent years and indications of issues and from when the alarm went off and amplified and energy on —- initiative on —- initiate emergency response?
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but in the interim we need to learn more about the immediate and long-term impacts because there are many beaches and fishing spots have been closed recently local businesses and they see customers vanish as a refuge and other wildlife to be inundated as part of the spell investigation we need to hear from residents and surrounding communities on the ground precisely why the congresswoman porter and i this coming monday in southern california.
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is critical we don't just wait for the next accident to occur wheel and gas infrastructure and in the pacific is a ticking time bomb and it's part of a much larger disaster in the making. infrastructure poses risks to the environment the gao nmalerted us in 2015 that taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars of decommissioning cost. and in april the gao released a scathing report detailing the extensive barriers of the oversight of offshore pipelines in the gulf of
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mexico the reason offshore spill because without stronger regulations things will get worse. with a steeper and steeper price looking forward to the testimony of our witnesses i now recognize the ranking member for his opening remarks. welcome. >> the biden administration policies have created prices and with that planned extrication. and then put their hand in the air and asked they would support healthcare. the department of justice
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targeting parents to who have the audacity to distribute officials of their communities. the legislation the supply chains and in the energy crisis fortunately the administration is something that our children unfortunately joe biden seems hell-bent on the energy crisis to rival that a president carter's. to live there are similar but not worse economy on day number one of this administration within five hours of the inauguration joe
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biden halted construction of the keystone xl pipeline. shortly thereafter issuing an unlawful ban on oil and gas development. there for energy prices are going up and then taking months aimed at national security advisor to bag opec to pump more oil and this is back in august. and then to produce energy for our citizens. believe it or not opec recently informed biden and our nation those member countries russia and other
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foreign adversaries will not pump more oil to cover for bidens mistakes. and of a local i.c.e. cream shop and then how do we help lower gas prices? we can't be clear on exactly what is discussed but the things that will help keep you measure prices down issue on shore and offshore lease sales. and then stop at the domestic producers.
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and then to discuss the solutions and then to send a joint letter asking to withdraw his revision. and not a conservationist we believe in funding our national parks and public lands invested through offshore and gas revenue. and then to pass belonging to our children and then a robust habitat the bureau safety environmental working closely with industry to continue and
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then offshore gas and high risk due to the strides in safety. however we draw hard line of the entire industry high quality wages so for today's hearing i recognize the recent events for outright banning oil and gas development. and then the republican and it is the most likely cause of this moment also with the strangling supply chain to anchor for too long.
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instead my democratic colleagues about why the oil or gas sector is to blame also policies and that only makes a crisis worse and enclosing. impressing witnesses. i yield back. >> a professor of marine science and the president emeritus of the university of maryland for environmental
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science also aen former member of the national commission on the dp deepwater horizon oil spill and offshore drilling. next the north american executive director of the carbon tracker initiative and the chief policy officer for north america at oceana. and the endowed chair of fisheries and ocean health at the research institute for the gulf of mexico studies. let me remind the witnesses under the committee rules they must limit their oral statements 25 minutes but that the entire statement will appear in the hearing record
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it will timer will go off when you have one minute remaining those joining remotely use stage view so they can pin the timer on their screen. after your testimony is complete please remember to amute yourself to it floyd any inadvertent background noise. the chair now recognizes doctor bosch for five minutes. >> thank you very much. but with the offshore oil and gas to the gulf of mexico back in the eighties to today exploration and production
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whaling gas production declines as fields discovered in the eighties earlier are depleted in these shallow waters declined by over 90 percent natural gas production which may come from the shallow water wells declined by 80 percent. offshore energy production is dominated in the deepwater in the gulff of mexico up to 7500 feet deep. and then going by 30 percent with the last ten years after the deepwater horizon disaster. and it has greatly expandedat in
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fact since the lifting of the crude oil export ban in 2016 last year there were 70 percent more crude oil exploited on —- exported then pactually produced in the us ocs three times as much natural gas then produced offshore. that has left the legacy of infrastructure marginal but declining resources. i'm sorry. can you hear me? i lost my webex. >> we can hear you. >> i don't see the timer i lost that. i will just continue. that please tell me when i'm
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done. and the infrastructure. and that the commission all to commissioner and removal. and to ensure safe operations and with those 23 platforms those that are facing the decommissioning 1862 platforms. and those that wouldro be decommissioned in this decade but such structures in the ocean to enhance that
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productivity and it's a strategy that takes into account the scale ofca the challenge to consider the consequences for ecosystem and 59 percent are there temporarily abandoned. that is equal to the us average to the entire lifecycle and the supply chain according toou the gao 8600 miles of active pipeline and 18000 miles of abandoned pipeline. the gao found lacking the process to addressing the environmental safety risk and
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also with the long-term fate. and with the restoration of the island in louisiana as well as the offshore use of sources. and rather than taxpayers to be responsible. and those imposing a levy on all offshore oil facilities operated by the companies. and those that would be exhausted only six or seven years. and understood covered to
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estimate we could run out of oil midcentury so with those greenhouse gases to be released with that source inflation governmental policy offshore and oil and gas production with the idea the legacy and infrastructure we carry out over the next decade or two. and with that strategy and then to maintain the deleterious impact in this strategy must be environmentally sustainable socially and economically effective and protect taxpayers t for the cost of
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mediation. >> the chair recognizes for five minutes. >> good afternoon or good morning certainly a major concern with the traveling aspects and with the golf of mexico and more importantly how they can facilitate the i decommissioning issues in a safenn manner i'm a regions professor of brain biology at the harvard research institute at corpus christi large
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component of the research program involved in stations and and in that economic drivers in the sense they are important fishing grounds. and with those of artificial reef to enhance learning fisheries we are not talking about a new concept but how do
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we use these s practices to safely maximize habitat. with that 15 years and those that retain the face of limited resources. that is' bottleneck to the process. and especially in the way it wide manner. and there were $20 million in research funding. it was important with the gulf of mexico in the south atlantic relating to a artificial reefs and with this
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extraordinary level of funding today scientist are equipped with adequate resources and the latest technology the new data showing those artificial structures show fishery habitat and fact decades-old structures hold tremendous amounts of biomass and economic drivers. how do these perform into relation to mother nature and that we use to measure that success as well as natural habitat with similar output the artificial reefs are the equivalent to enhance the marine resources. while the scientific community and that persist is to attract
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which is producing and that clearly shows these artificial strugglers have new biomass and is not mutually exclusive that works together synergistically to enhance production interestingly with the fast range boats that locate fish even now they are the smallest bottom creatures that management tool and ecologically sensitive areas. and then to be seen in person
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then to build that structure and then not to condone removal once ecosystem is established. and with that effective management on —- management tool is an excellent example of a partnership between oil and gas industry. and then the public can benefit. those of the largest man-made complex happening at the accelerated pace and the opportunity to access to take an active interest that much
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of the habitat stays in the water. and i'll be happy to answer any questions. >> the chair now recognizes mr. sure welcome to the committee. >> . >> . >> as a retirement obligation. and then to create the air an obligation to claim that infrastructure this costs money but companies are
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required to have insurance of the full estimated cost comes from oil and gas production the iaea sees people as early as 2025 decommissioning is costly bureau enforcement of data indicates offshore 35 to over $50 billion all initial insurance requirements are less than 10 percent and those to underestimate the true cost of deepwater infrastructure
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and then in the gulf of mexico at the other two thirds retired infrastructure should begin once it's a longer uluseful. but it explains why there is five years after it becomes inactive to deem it no longer useful for operations and increase the risk are simply disappear. we have seen this already there is also a problem companies have no incentives it is i can secured interest
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free. and in case of default the interest payments with the nonperformance risk on the non- economic assets. is simple require financial insurance for all decommissioning obligations. if they are still economic to operate but in either case the public is protected. and operators do and then with
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several liability regimes that exist today with offshore infrastructure and those that causes liability but in 20122013 shallow water properties and in bankruptcy in 2018 and then to return to bankruptcy in 2020 to characterize that the commission caused with the most significant liabilities. to create new companies to receive those offshore assets and oil and gas companies objected to this proposal and ultimately it illustrates if
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they cannot pay another taxpayers well. and the hurricane are a leaking pipeline and then second as part of a written testimony to understand better than the government does and in summary. the fraction that covered by insurance was and then to decommission a time that theyy don't. finally private operators far more security.
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>> thank you. the chair now recognizes for five minutes welcome to the committee. >> thank you to members of the subcommittee i am achieve policy officer north america oceana the largest international advocacycy organization entirely dedicated to ocean conservation. those this is the latest and
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it's not a matter of if but when she focus on the need and then to protect taxpayers and the and atticus we of the pipeline. with the atlantic and pacific ocean. with those obligations and in that oversight failure and that's necessary and to waive
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the requirements for those bonds while they have discretion then be updated since 1993 and since that year and has in part only 10 percent of offshore oil production of deepwater 1993 and then rose to 80 percent. and then to be updated according to gao 92 percent
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wave. and with that careful an impact. kissed that is not the data on the commissioning process and then the 28 percent pipeline deepwater. to understand the risk and then to rely on decommissioning and that is 18000 miles of the outer continental shelf.
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and that technology with the oil and gas industry all pipelines on the pacific region but two weeks ago we saw exactly what would happen and with that economic incentive it is no surprise of human error.
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human error. assurances to abandon pipelines. and then with that commission and infrastructure. >> with a five-minute limit on questions and then chair will now recognize members that they may wish to ask the witnesses. and for five minutes of questions.
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>> thank you for but the gas and oil industry things to the opportunity to delay or with different rationale prevent any action that's about giving more time as a wake-up call and i appreciate.
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it's easy for people to understand with those communities. but then to have that kind of attention. much less understood can mean talk about the hazards. >> i i will start. i just pointed to two recent examples in the golf of mexico for the older pipelines have been and cause problems one has mentioned in hurricane ida there was an oil slick that lasted for a few days it was
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traced to an i abandoned pipeline. the during that incident and that is an ongoing issue and those using funds from the bp oil spill just off the coast of where that oil and gas development takes place. and then with the myriad of pipelines coming in for where they are or who built them that interferes with the ability to restore the barrier island. and those same resources so they have to be careful to
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know where the pipelines are those are two recent examples. and then it's still not happened so i think we need to consider that those that provide an asset and then to
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become the alternative and with that legislation. with that infrastructure and how is that if at all quick. >> and the decision with that infrastructure in place and based on the data it becomes very clear that decommissioning in places the way toed go.
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for that is potentially what has happened and with that infrastructurere out there and then to assume it is safe and the water. >> i have no further questions thank you for the hearing and we look forward. thank you for that as well. >> thank you very much. >> thank you chairman. i now recognize the ranking member for five minutes of questions. >> thank you for your expert testimony and with that
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commission and pipeline. >> we would support property commissioning proper plugging of the well. and those we are concerned worth that scientists have over decades of time that is very rare corals so we have issues now we don't anticipate and those arend the structures going in with the v scientific issue. so then you remove that s habitat so offsetting that. to ensure that this material
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won't last forever so by leaving that in the water you can at least maintain that productivity and allied the fishery concerns then you deplete the sustainability. >> thank you for that answer. as we drill for oil. >> when i was on the oil spill commission to have the safety technology and that has been done in one of those challenges is the older infrastructuree is operating with the same standards and
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capacity that have to do that so for example they didn't detect n the new offshore deepwater platform. >> so that thinking of the mining industry and we readily admit that across the nation. to get better and better and safer and safer with the thank you for your testimony can you tell us for the nonprofit is headquartered? >> 501(c)3 headquartered in new york city.
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>> and with that nonprofit. >> . >> so the answer is yes. but when terms of curb and tracking with the financial implications. >> with the oil and gas industry.
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and the different individuals. as we go forward to make you understand. if it is 30 or 40 below you could throw water in the air and it would become i.c.e. before hits the ground. i need to turn on my heater and get instant heat for families. do you support that quick. >> many of my colleagues
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looking atil renewable energy. >> i'm glad you support the northern climate thank you very much for your testimony. >> thank you ranking member. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for your question. >> so listening to the ranking members questioning the title of the hearing are abandoned oil and gas infrastructure and that oil and gas development and it can be good how
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technology has improved. that's not really what this hearing iss about. and then not try to divert the issue. and one reason i'm a interested in this in colorado we don't have a lot of offshore drilling and those that mindset need to be decommissioned and if we do that we prevent methane leakage and oil and gas leakage. and in a bipartisan way and the ranking member to have better technology now.
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and thinking about the's old abandoned structures that are leaking. talk about oil and gas companies have to decommission the cost of infrastructure as an interest-free balloon loan and they word respond and responsibly decommission and infrastructure and we are left holding the bag. we have been hearing that time andd time again. so my question for you is is there a difference of policy
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we should be taking the onshore and offshore well? >> fundamentally many of the issues there's one thing that exist and with those certain jurisdictions onshore. so that situation onshore is worse because in some states like california go after those prior operators but major jurisdictions you can not in somewhere around 1 percent so it's definitely an issue. >> so what can we do? what kind of policy changes do we need to make to properly decommission the wells quick. >> it gives them a financial
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incentives. >> and then that decision do some kind of financial insurance in place to represent the actual cost. and that acts as a guarantor for the amount. then have other forms of restricted cash. >> i have one quick question. because i work a lot on methane waste issues. can you talk more about the methane and abandoned wells in the gulf of mexico should the
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administration work on those as well quick. >> i haven't looked at methane emissions so i don't have a good answer for you on that. >> anybody else have the answer? >> yes. i'm sorry i was supposed to ask you that question. >> there is very little information on offshore oil and gas emissions and those that made measurements. and deepwater as educated so there is if there is any leakage onto the water to come
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up to the ocean and then to reach the atmosphere their primary concern is the shallow water wells and then to have that technological constraint. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. >> i now call and the representative for five minutes of questions. if he is not here at this moment then we will come back. >> mr. chairman can you hear
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me? >> i can see you and hear you. >> thank you for the opportunity. thank you for being here today. how big of a role does the nation's offshore energy infrastructure for artificial reefs? >> that in that sense that the largest my man-made artificial reef in the world. if we had to generate that material to take it back offshore that would be in the realm of $18 billion it is a valuable resource if we use
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those practices to reach that. science clearly shows that we create structures out of concrete and other things and then to enhance that so with that scientific solution for the material that is already there and we have shown in many cases over decades the fisheries rely upon these habitats to support the economic drivers. >> and then to salvage the steel that's out there because in many cases it is difficult to get them to put it with the value back on land because over the decades it's become so important to marine life we're looking to ensure that habitat remains in the water.
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>> is this accounted for in the environmental impact statement? does the company get credit for this? >> i don't know about on the environmental impact statement that something we have to ask industry but i do know when they donate. >> so the money they are saving goes back into the program and to reap one of the structures of its in place where the approval may not be as high because they are already preapproved and with that reading site that's all they can afford and then to be
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on the backend of that the commissioning process. >> . >> but it would do some harm for those critters that live around there? that's a major concern but the habitat value is a big concern. and that congress appropriated showed literally millions of fish that are utilizing the structures in fast that's where most of the fishery takes place. and then preserving the natural habitat and on the golf that is primarily mad and
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sand bottom without the structures and that's related how much habitat you have available. >> we need to make sure were not hire on —- harming the environment as we go forward and that committee as a whole all those things that are discouraging energy production in america on harming the environment while doing it because if we are harming the environment and you take the pipelines from being constructed and you see the governor of michigan trying to shut down the pipeline that affects all of the upper great lakes as well as canada and then violating treaty so now
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that portable go on trains which has far more emissions than the pipeline. so choose one of the favorite terms of hell-bent and that has great harm to the economy great harm to job creation did you see the august report over 400,000 people have left the workforce the highest number in keeping numbers and with regards to national security we did not have to be dependent on the middle east in countries now they are bagging them on —- begging them to pump oil. and harming national security now will be harm the environment with things like this that are going on
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including the whole emotion we simply cannot have any fossil fuel infrastructure here in america it all has to go away and everything will be just fine. the people in this country are waking up it does not work and it will continue to cause problems we can have prosperity and a clean environment they are not mutually exclusive in fact they work together and until this committee and this congress and the president figures that out, and how more on —- far more in energy to equate our standard of living. i yield back thank you for the time. i really appreciate it. >> i'm sure were also very
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appreciative of your strong support is mr. graves here yet? representative? i will continue with the democratic members as soon as the next republican shows up. >> i haven't had a response go ahead. >> . >> welcome. >> thank you mr. chairman thank you for the witnesses for their insight i will bring my time back to specific questions that do relate to the subject of the subcommittee hearing. before i do that i just have to observe for the past two
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days yesterday national resource committee markup we have have a whole arsenal of oil and gas industry talking points and we heard that in the context of discussing some baby steps toward holding this behemoth industry a little more accountable and transparent. and those were not massively transformative bills in the oil and gas industry. they were baby steps but it sounded like the sky was falling. every little thing we do to ask were the oil and gas industry to make them clean up their mess means we will be supporting putin and foreign competitors and ending the world order as we know it. so we're always told we have no choice it is just fossil
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fuel now. fossil fuel for whatever the ranking member has an endorsement of the republican energy view which is drill everywhere for export to put her own beaches and ecosystems at risk so oil companies can make even more money on the global market and there is no alternative and we hear all of the happy talk of the sins of the pet past and how happy does been sins are of the infrastructure and for my entire life i have seen nothing but disasters and calamities devastated by these entire as we talk about what's
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going on in orange county because it's visible in the news right now. but it's happening every single day in lots of places the deadliness is inherent in the fossil fuel paradigm. we can do we don't just celebrate the prettiest course at the glue factory there is a better way forward to power this economy and painfully as we start the conversation here today when it needs to be decommissioned so i want to keep an open mind to be pragmatic and so we tend to talk an absolute category or do we leave it all in place because someone thinks the fish are happy around the infrastructure?
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i want to start that you described infrastructure that seems to have ecological services and i appreciate the fact that you clarified even though you think a lot of it should be left in place, you have to make sure that the pipelines are flash. thank you for that. but you are not saying categorically every piece of fossil fuel infrastructure should be left in place everywhere instead of being removed. are you? >> no. that is correct. certain structures are more relevant. but that is not one size fits all situation however science clearly shows that i understand your point about the structures but i want to keep an open mind for certain cases where it might make
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sense to me structure in place but i would like to come back to you because i'm trying to imagine as we transition away from fossil fuels. talk about the fossil fuels. could some of this be the purpose with those that service the structure be a conduit for electricity transmission? >> and in the gulf of mexico or including discussions of the existing infrastructure also industry the proposals and that capability for carbon capture and storage. and then to pass judgment if it's a good thing or not but you have to think about the uses of this for the future.
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i thank you make some good points my concern is the long term and that scale. we imagine these we have to think of what will happen over 100 years what is the long-term consequence. >> that's very troubling picture of companies that are ready to push their cost on to the taxpayer. so stop thinking about that deep-sea salad nation that it can power reverse osmosis membranes so that is 40 percent of the energy cost can you imagine possibly using this infrastructure to read purpose the pipelines for
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freshwater? >> that is the possibility for the deepwater platforms. >> i yield back. >> representative and i think he's joined us yet if you have let me know. now i will call upon the representative for five minutes. >> thank you chairman. as i discussed during yesterday's markup the oil spill off of orange county has highlighted the need to change the status quo when it comes to offshore drilling policy. the first step we need to take as common sense. that is to and offshore gas
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leaks and off the pacific coast. the build back better act would invest in long-term coastal communities by doing just that. but addressing new leasing is not enough we need to be examined the existing leases off the california coast as long as the infrastructure is there we will continue to pose a significant threat not only through our environment but to the economy left coastal tourism coastal recreation worth billions of dollars in california. i recognize dealing with this problem will not be easy. decommissioning is expensive and will face opposition from the fossil fuel companies that profit and those that benefit from continued extraction will take great pains to distort the facts and mislead the public about the risks and benefits and sadly we have
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seen this deception before. make no mistake this is apsley necessary for the well-being of the local economy and environment hearing coastal california. it is probably supported by the coastal constituents republicans and democrats and independents. it is not partisan in the coastal communities so i appreciate i am here to share my desire i look forward to working with you closely and with that i will turn to some questions. the pipeline oil spill off the coast of orange county had severe consequences on local businesses and communities as a result of federally sold by the interior department decades ago. clearly demonstrating how they can have long-lasting impacts years or decades after they are sold. do you think we should sell more of our public oceans to oil and gas industry? >> thank you for the question congressman. as you know in on those to
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protect the atlantic in the eastern gulf you know that oil will still if we drill and event micro fishing. every time that happens in that oil and gas are driving climate change. remember me offshore oil and gas industry on eight.5 million acres 75 percent they are sitting on it so efa and the leasing is not for offshore production. >> both your written
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statements expressed concern that they are a fraction of decommissioning costs. do you suggest as well as 10 percent? are either of you concerned of the interior department is more upfront collateral it drives more oil and gas companies leading to more orphaned wells? that is an argument that some make when it comes to decommissioning platforms in california. >> if you have a company that already has an existing financial obligation to decommission the infrastructure and i cannot afford to do that and then if we can do that in the future if you have a company that cannot handle that obligation
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already it's already a problem. that's the first one but second it will not get better with time that with worse the time whatever facilities we have decline it will get worse from the taxpayer standpoint because the predecessors that we could possibly fill in and do it simply because it is a disruption so on and so forth. but that with those assets that they require far more insurance from this institute that went bankrupt and it required a trust and had to be
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filled with $80 million from the equivalent of being decommissioned every year it had to be replenished up to 125 percent of that expected decommissioning cost. >> and this is one of those real-life entities and the lesson here is you really don't know where the people will go bankrupt were not in these situations mr. and mom —- protect the interest of the taxpayer. >> if i can briefly here on this topic. >> my colleague has answered in more detail in more expertise than i could. >> i will remain committed to ending more offshore in southern california and i will do all i can to look at the
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decommissioning as well. it will not be easy. we have powerful interest against us who like to distort the facts to create a false narrative to line their own pockets but i will not stop until it's done because that is what our constituents demand. i yield back. >> thank you representative. >> i was told mr. graves will be on shortly if not already representative? if not i will wait. >> i am here but you can go first. >> no. i will wait. >> thank you. i have questions what portion of oil and gas on the outer
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continental shelf are not producing? >> so what is really related to basically two thirds of them. >> so two thirds of the wells are not producing oil they are not contributing to energy availability they are just sitting there so when an oil company stops drilling offshore today immediately take away the platforms and the artificial islands so that nobody can tell that the oil company was ever there? >> now they cannot. >> so this is our public land. do the leases require offshore oil and gas companies to remove all of the equipment?
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>> when the c's production they typically have one year to do that. >> bases production we call that decommission a remove the equipment and they said there were 38.2 billion of estimated on the growth of mexico alone is there enough bonds of these instruments set aside regardless of the up-and-down to be sure they can pay the decommission cost and taxpayers are not on the hot? >> and that could be less of the total amount expected.
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>> i like numbers. two.9billion luscious give the benefit of the doubt and say 3 billion on there are 30 billion potential so these oil and gas companies for them to have the profits to make the investment to clean up when they are done. have they been doing that? >> typically what we will see his well-to-do companies to transfer these assets into other entities that have less financial means. >> and then to transfer the unprofitable expensive part of this of the decommission portion with a big healthy company? >> but those are the ones that
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did not exist even prior to the transfer. >> you mean cell that was created just for the purpose of pushing off the cost of doing business see don't have to pay it even that you have all the upside? using this is what oil and gas companies do? >> we have seen this. yes. >> how did the law facilitate this? >> i suppose on the one hand there is very little oversight of the transfer so there's very little restriction so offshore and onshore to see this behavior. and then secondary to that and then to pass the liabilities on to taxpayers and then the new company goes bankrupt. >> before i came to congress i
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taught business law and a lot of these laws about allowing companies to create entities to sell assets and file bankruptcy they exist for good reasons. that they can also be abused and the result of that and our nature and our planet and if we take advantage of the legal scheme and they put us on the hook for that. why shouldn't we make sure no taxpayer is on the hook that another company profited from making quick. >> certainly no private actor.
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>> so there has to take on risk? we are giving them a bargain deal in terms of offshore liability we are not asking them to indemnify. where saying take her public land and drill if you want to hand that off then that is okay that's of the government is doing. >> technically. >> what is not acceptable to me it should be acceptable anyone on this committee if it will be offshore drilling and it currently is you buy the ticket you take on the oil and gas company lease and that includes for the full price and that's exactly what i think that get federal government ought to do to
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protect taxpayers and then benefit from the taxpayer property thank you mr. chair. i yield back. >> thank you representative. >> i don't believe anyone else is here at this moment someone i have not called on yet. asked them questions myself. doctor come as a former member of the deepwater horizon commission as an unbelievable of the offshore drilling regulation so what has come up with that odd spilling california that the federal government already requires
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pipeline leak detection technology and regular inspections of pipelines in the pacific theater we still experienced a disaster leading to thousands of gallons of oil and i'm trying to understand from your point of view potentially what went wrong. bit more concerning to me is there were only 200 miles of pipeline. we require the oil companies to their own internal expansion on —- expansion. whether it is internal external. and every two years of the
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internal and then the thousands. that there is no monitoring or oversight? >> yes. there is a requirement for pressure sensors to see if there is a leak as well as and california but there is no requirement for routine inspection. >> why? >> because in 2007 the management service there were draft rules to promulgate that would require more advanced technology for detection and
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but they were never executed because of industry concern of cost of feasibility and with the deepwater horizon commission regarding drilling safety in the same thing happened with those it was pushback but they were never executed. so after the deepwater horizon and blue out then that is when those proposals were implemented. >> it took a deepwater horizon to implement some of those rules but there were others that were regulations for public safety, pipeline safety, that were just overlooked.
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>> was there any support from the communities around their that were the most impacted? it's a second port and part of the economy. >> i agree. and that's in the importance of the economy. i am just wondering in your experience but i understand the last point that you make.
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>> passing hr 2643 so do you think the enactment of this will help future offshore pipeline disasters for removal costs? >> thank you so much for that it's important as part of the interior as part of the pipeline operation since 2007 and then that would be finalized and then ongoing monitoring which we talk a lot about today. >> thank you very much and i will yield back.
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representative graves it is good to see you and you are now recognized for five minutes for questions. >> thank you. >> . >> please speak up. >> it is great to see you to have the opportunity to join and the conversations on the gulf coast that's where we represent. i appreciate everyone's interest so to get distorted and translation a little bit but then it's really important to keep in mind that the judge
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found the responsible parties were grossly negligent so what that shows this is an operator that was way out of bounds. they did everything right if it was just an accident there wouldn't be $40 billion out-of-pocket that was quadrupled those penalties that they were forced to pay. so i think it's really important we keep that in mind so as we saw from the obama administration there were efforts to produce the amount of domestic energy production i'm sorry that's backwards there was a demand it did not get changed and then to it did
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not change the demand for conventional fuels are just changed where it came from so the offshore actually has the lowest emissions from any production in the united states it's with the lowest emissions so if they produce anywhere in the globe it may make more sense to do it in areas. and then to do it within the rules and if they don't to where they are held accountable to the tune of tens of billions of dollars with the largest settlement from a single company in us history. >> how much of that liability? >> . >> the results of that.
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>> because you have other responsible parties that are contractually obligated in fact they are really test off. but it is true. have other companies that are contractually obligated and they are just off. >> so the center is funded so these are dollars coming from the industry so it is important so the role of the
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offshore energy can you just talk about that a little bit or if we should just remove it all. >> thank you congressman graves. with millions of pounds of fish using the artificial structures especially in your region are in the gulf of mexico where we don't have structured habitat is now showing the population is not as robust as they are now or to have the same sustainable capacity if they do have these if they do have an infrastructure out there we need to have these in the water to support the fishery as a primary conclusion of the study of where these fish occurred. >> doctor you and i have known
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each other for a long time we've had a lot of discussion about the offshore coastal louisiana recognizing global energy demand over the next 29 years recognizing the lowest emissions per unit of energy looking at what happens around the world of energy production do you believe we should just shut it all down there is a better way to move toward a clean energy transition. >> we depend on fossil fuels for the time being but we have to get off of it with less reliance. and then also with greenhouse gas emissions and using that energy is the path going forward with the international agency energy analysis because it does talk about the future
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of fossil fuels and does recommend fossil fuel development but it also recognizes we will continue to use the resources we already have. it will go down and it will be reduced with a new international energy agency reported just yesterday this is an agency which is not an environmental agency that peaked fossil fuel production we need a good environment and to ramp down in a way that doesn't hurt people are communities and then 20 or 30 years to have a healthy golf as well as greenhouse gases with the greenhouse gas
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emissions and missing the target of getting to net zero. >> thank you at the same entity that says what the largest decrease of greenhouse gas and energy history we need to build on our successes thank you and i yield back. >> thank you representative graves that's a very engaging discussion and a very important discussion and i think the witnesses for their valuable testimony and all the members for their questions the members of the committee may have additional questions for the witnesses and we will ask you to respond to them in writing members of the committee must submit witness questions within three business days following the
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hearing the record will be kept open for ten business days if there is no further business. >> mr. chair i just want to commend you for holding this hearing we did go over a little bit but those were important questions and i just want to say we appreciate your flexibility and colleagues on both sides did a very nice job. >> it is really important we hear each other and use this as a mechanism obviously there may be some but i thought all the questions are relevant and needed to be asked. so with that with no further business, thisy to the
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