Chairs Maloney, Khanna Request Information About Oil Company’s Past Federal Violations Following Disastrous Oil Spill
Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and Rep. Ro Khanna, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Environment led a letter to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requesting information related to the recent crude oil spill from the San Pedro Bay Pipeline, which is owned by Amplify Energy Corporation (Amplify Energy).
“According to reports, Amplify Energy did not report the devastating oil spill to the
National Response Center (NRC)—as the company is legally required to do—until Saturday, October 2, at least ten hours after NRC and California authorities were made aware of the spill from other sources,” the Members wrote. “We are also troubled by reports that local officials and members of the public were not warned of the spill until hours after Amplify Energy notified NRC. This is particularly concerning because the pipeline reportedly should have been monitored by an automated leak detection system.”
Approximately 144,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into the Pacific Ocean from an offshore rig pipeline, threatening wetlands, wildlife, and potentially harming human health. While the cause of the leak remains unconfirmed, reports have identified the leak’s source as the 41-year-old San Pedro Bay Pipeline—one of the largest producers of oil in Southern California—and operated by its subsidiary, Beta Offshore Operating Company LLC (Beta).
The Members requested documents and information from BSEE and PHMSA related to Amplify Energy’s and Beta’s past potential violations of federal law, and the agencies’ inspections of the company’s infrastructure off the coast of Southern California. Since 2011, BSEE has reportedly documented approximately 125 incidents of non-compliance by Beta.
In addition to Chairs Maloney and Khanna, the letter is signed by Rep. Alan Lowenthal, Chair of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources; Rep. Katie Porter, Chair of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Rep. Mike Levin, and Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán.
Click here to read today’s letter.