NOAA, Dems push back on Republican rigs-to-reef bill

By Rebekah Alvey | 03/22/2024 06:43 AM EDT

The legislation would expedite assessments of old oil and gas rig conversions into artificial reefs.

Oil rig.

An oil rig and supply vessel in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana in 2011. Gerald Herbert/AP

Members of a House Natural Resources subcommittee were at odds Thursday about legislation that aims to boost national rigs-to-reefs conversions.

During a hearing, the Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries heard from witnesses about four bills, including H.R. 6814, the “Marine Fisheries Habitat Protection Act.”

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), would require NOAA to review more offshore oil and gas platforms as potential artificial reefs.


Subcommittee ranking member Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and a NOAA official called the proposal too broad and said it doesn’t include the support necessary to conduct more rig-to-reef assessments.