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Capitol Round Up: Abandoned Oil Wells, Unnecessary Oil Changes And Marijuana Cultivation Bills


(AP) - The Latest on the California Legislature:

5:10 p.m. 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.

4:55 p.m. The California Senate is taking aim at companies for pushing frequent oil changes.

Senators backed a bill Monday that would require repair shops to use the carmaker's recommended oil-change interval when placing a sticker on a customer's windshield.

Democratic Sen. Benjamin Allen of Santa Monica wrote the bill. He says too many shops automatically recommend an oil change after 3,000 miles, but modern vehicles can often go 7,500 or more miles before the oil should be drained.

Allen says SB778 would save consumers time and money and reduce motor oil disposal. It mirrors existing state recommendations.

Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen of Gerber called the bill "excessive regulation." He says people can be trusted to read their vehicle's owner's manual.

The Senate's 22-12 vote sends the bill to the Assembly.

4 p.m. The California Senate has approved a bill aimed at slowing a rush of cities and counties racing to ban marijuana cultivation.

The Senate backed the measure in a 35-3 vote on Monday, sending it to the Assembly.

AB21 corrects what lawmakers say was a mistake in medical marijuana regulations that were adopted in the closing hours of last year's legislative session.

A paragraph in that 70-page bill gave the state authority to license growers in jurisdictions that do not have their own laws on the books by March 1.

As a result, dozens of cities and counties have raced to enact bans on marijuana growing before the deadline to preserve local control over pot.