Schwarzenegger vetoes California oil spill 'pre-booming' bill

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 1 -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed an oil spill bill on Sept. 30 that would have led to regulations addressing “pre-booming” of vessels transferring oil fuel and cargo. The measure also would have increased the per barrel fee, paid by tankers, and the nontank vessel fee which is used to support the state’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

His action came on the same day that US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar announced two major regulations aimed at improving offshore oil and gas operations and workplace safety. The rules were the Obama administration’s latest response to the Apr. 20 Macondo well accident, which claimed 11 lives, and subsequent 5,000 bbl Gulf of Mexico crude oil spill which took months to contain and clean up.

“This bill is unnecessary,” Schwarzenegger said in his veto message. OSPR is already evaluating the benefit of requiring “pre-booming” standards on fuel transfer operations where they can be safe and effective, he explained.

Another provision in the bill would have authorized OSPR’s administrator to adjust the maximum per-barrel fee annually for inflation as measured by the federal Consumer Price Index. Schwarzenegger said that the magnitude of the fee increases “far exceeds what OSPR estimates it would cost to promulgate the ‘pre-booming’ regulations this bill would require.”

California Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-Marin.) introduced the bill, AB-234, on Feb. 5, 2009.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.



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