Grijalva Statement on Biden Administration Action to Hold Big Oil Accountable for Offshore Drilling Cleanup Costs

WASHINGTON – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement commending the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule to strengthen financial assurance requirements for offshore drilling.

“For too long, insufficient financial protections have allowed Big Oil to let their equipment sit idle off our coasts — or worse, let them walk away from their cleanup responsibilities altogether — creating untold risks for coastal communities and growing cost burdens for taxpayers,” said Ranking Member Grijalva. “As the recent GAO report shows, the cost to clean up oil companies’ equipment is exorbitant and is only getting more expensive as time goes on. I want to thank the Biden administration for taking this important step to protect Americans by better assuring that oil and gas companies will be held accountable for cleaning up their own mess.”


The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report — requested by Ranking Member Grijalva, Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.), and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) — highlighting insufficiencies in the decommissioning of offshore drilling infrastructure. The report found that a staggering three-quarters of end-of-lease and idle infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico alone is overdue for proper decommissioning, totaling more than 2,700 wells and 500 platforms.

Following the GAO report, Ranking Member Grijalva, Rep. Levin, and Rep. Porter authored an opinion piece for The Hill calling for the U.S. Department of the Interior to implement a stricter financial assurance rule in order to protect American taxpayers by better holding oil and gas companies accountable for decommissioning costs.

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