Federal Lawmakers Seek Funds to Plug Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells -
"U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat from New Mexico, said plugging these wells is an important step to protecting communities and can help put people back to work."
Why this is important: This federal legislation would provide a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as well as an economic benefit for areas of our country where the oil and gas industry has suffered from low commodity prices and the COVID-19 fueled recession. Over many decades, tens of thousands of older wells have been orphaned nationwide that leak methane because they have not been properly plugged. The abandonment of these unplugged wells has been caused by previous economic downturns as well as federal and state regulatory programs that have never possessed the budgetary means to deal with problem wells. This sort of federal stimulus legislation specifically focused on a solvable environmental problem can eliminate a significant source of methane pollution, while providing new employment opportunities in economically challenged areas of our nation.
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