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Democrats Begin Scrutiny of Abandoned Offshore Oil Equipment

  • Democrats say California oil spill highlights need for action
  • House panel to hold hearing focused on abandoned wells, pipes
Clean-up crews continue to comb the beach for oil at the Huntington Beach Pier after the city of Huntington Beach and California State Parks reopened city and state beaches on Oct. 11.

Clean-up crews continue to comb the beach for oil at the Huntington Beach Pier after the city of Huntington Beach and California State Parks reopened city and state beaches on Oct. 11.

Photographer: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
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House Democrats began Thursday making the case for stricter regulation of thousands of abandoned wells, platforms and pipelines off the U.S. coasts following one of the biggest off-shore spills in California in nearly 30 years. 

A hearing by a sub panel of the House Natural Resources Committee comes as anger over oil fouling Huntington Beach has renewed demands for offshore oil drilling bans and led to bills mandating expensive leak detection equipment and new spill reporting requirements.