Gaining Perspective, a Look into the Opposition
Critics of the R2R initiative stress that the R2R decommissioning proposal is completely inconsistent with the artificial reef guidelines in place for the state of California. When it comes to creating an artificial habitat that will support California fisheries, the site must be selected based on ecosystem need. Leaving the platform where it is, under the pretense that it will enhance ecosystem productivity, is not addressing ecosystem need and is inconsistent with how all other artificial habitats are created in California.
The opposition is based in the following concerns:
Pollution - Oil platforms contain toxic materials and are surrounded by contaminated debris. Leaving them in place defers full clean up and threatens the ocean environment with long-term pollution impacts.
Invasive Species - Oil and gas platforms can host non-native species that threaten the surrounding environments and native fish populations.
Safety Hazards - Leaving debris in the ocean creates a safety hazard for boaters, fishermen, and divers.
Liability to California - If the platforms are left in place, the State of California would be left with the liability of accidents or further mitigation efforts. Financial liability for abandoned platforms could result in significant, ongoing costs for the State.