Washington, D.C. December 17, 2021– Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today sent a letter with Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) calling on Amplify Energy Corp., the company responsible for the October oil spill off the coast of Southern California, and two of its subsidiaries to brief members of the Natural Resources Committee on their actions leading up to the disaster.
The letter, available here, follows two Committee oversight hearings (see here and here) on the oil spill, including a field hearing where members traveled to listen to communities most impacted by the environmental disaster.
Porter is chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Lowenthal is chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. The three lawmakers, along with Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), chair of the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife, and Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.) also sent a separate letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland today. The letter urged her to review existing offshore fossil fuel leases in federal waters in light of the recently announced Department of Justice (DOJ) indictment of Amplify and its subsidiaries, Beta Operating Co. LLC and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Co., and consider using her authority to terminate certain leases.
Grijalva praised DOJ’s efforts in pursuing the indictment and said the companies’ negligence in allowing the spill to occur was part of a larger pattern.
“Too many oil companies have acted with impunity for far too long, reaping huge profits for themselves while leaving a mess of pollution for the public to clean up,” Grijalva said. “It’s time to reassess how the government manages our federal public lands and waters and begin reviewing offshore oil and gas leases for cancellation if they do not meet safety and environmental standards.”
In addition to oversight efforts, the Committee has pursued legislative solutions to strengthen offshore drilling safeguards, including passing Rep. Julia Brownley’s bill, H.R. 2643, Offshore Pipeline Safety Act, and Rep. Donald McEachin’s bill, H.R. 570, Offshore Accountability Act, out of the Committee in October.