TITLE

Enduring Optimism: Examining the Rig-to-Reef Bargain

AUTHOR(S)
Salcido, Rachael E.
PUB. DATE
November 2005
SOURCE
Ecology Law Quarterly;2005, Vol. 32 Issue 4, p863
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Federal law requires the removal of offshore oil and gas platforms from the seafloor at the end of production. An exception to this rule allows a platform to stay on the seafloor if it is incorporated into a state artificial reef program. These "rig-to-reef" projects have been promoted as innovative public-private partnerships that address the dual problems of costly platform removal and disappearing fishing opportunities. I argue that the current legal framework fails to ensure habitat enhancement and may condone ocean dumping. The problem can be traced to three sources: federal and state competition on the outer continental shelf, lack of a comprehensive long-term federal vision for outer continental shelf development, and interest group pressure in the face of scientific uncertainty. I recommend that we revisit the bargain struck in rig-to-reef conversions. This article identities the flaws in current law and proposes a more robust experimental model to ensure that public benefit is realized in rig-to-reef programs.
ACCESSION #
20084705

 

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