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California Bill Would Cap Abandoned Oil Wells

  

(AP) - A California state senator is pushing legislation to monitor and cap abandoned and leaking oil wells.

Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara said Monday that her bill was inspired by the influx of oil onto Summerland Beach south of Santa Barbara.

The popular beach was briefly closed last year while officials looked for the source of smelly oil and tar balls, and health officials have warned visitors to avoid the oil.

Jackson says the Summerland Beach oil is believed to come from a well that dates to the 1890s.

Jackson's SB 900 would require the California State Lands Commission to plug abandoned offshore wells when the original oil company cannot be held responsible. Jackson says it costs an estimated $1 million to cap a well.