Do taxpayers bear the cost of cleaning up abandoned US oil wells?

OhIl and gas companies have a bad century of digging and demolishing wells. And while Congress eventually plans to drill some of the abandoned wells, new ideas could shift the cost of cleaning up the fossil fuels industry to taxpayers and even encourage more drilling.

Concerns seem to agree on the scale of the problem – millions of wells are being left untreated in the United States, pouring toxic and potentially harmful public health gases into the United States.

But he noted that strong special needs have been identified in federal efforts: one of Joe Biden’s $ 1tn infrastructure bill, which is due to be voted on later this month. Instead of asking fossil fuels to cover the actual cost of drilling and refining, policy experts say it is an additional multi-billion dollar subsidy to the industry responsible for tackling the climate crisis.

“People at the top think this is a good environmental thing, but the devil is on the list,” said Megan Milken Beven, a consultant with the Office of Ocean Energy Management and former program analyst.. “This is the account of the chiefs.

Oil that was once stored and discarded in Gulf oil is well-known, later discovered in Chevron, in a breeding ground in Cranes County, Texas.  Millions of damaged wells are getting older and more leaking every day.
Oil that was once stored and discarded in Gulf oil is well-known, later discovered in Chevron, in a breeding ground in Cranes County, Texas. Millions of damaged wells are getting older and more leaking every day. Photograph – Images of Matthew Bush / Bloomberg / Getty

Congress’s 30-page proposal provides an important plan for counting, measuring and monitoring methane emissions and groundwater pollution associated with Edha wells: abandoned wells without a recognized owner.

However, the $ 2 million in direct funding to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (ICCC), an organization closely linked to the fossil fuels industry, is hidden in the project. The draft team will be able to consult with the federal government as it provides billions of dollars in funding to install, repair and rehabilitate state orphans.

The infrastructure was mismanaged by the commission’s ability to function and control federal research and development funds as a regular part of government.

The problem is, no.

And recent comments from IOGCC Vice-Chairman Wen Christian suggest that the organization’s involvement in the infrastructure negotiation process includes a more clear pocket priority.

If the bill is passed and we are very close to it 25 million [dollars] They will come to Texas to clean up the wells and more in the future, ”said Christian – Senior Climate Change Coordinator and head of the Texas Railways Commission, which is closely associated with the oil industry.

“So we’re going to help the energy industry with these trillions of dollars,” he said.

On its website, the ICCC calls itself a “multi-state government agency.” But he also says he is free from public information laws. Although the group has said it will not do lobbies, it has spent approximately $ 100,000 on Capitol Hill since March 2019.

The IOGCC was initially sanctioned by the government. However, an InsideClimate investigation revealed that In 1978, the Justice Department recommended that the group be dissolved and that Congress be dissolved. Its influence has been felt in the legislative bodies across the country, with a membership network serving wine and dinner, and a copy of a law promoting oil and gas needs.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stew is currently chairing the team. A.D. In 2018, the State Environmental Protection Agency, which received more than $ 240,000 in campaign donations from the oil and gas sector, is known for co-sponsoring the acquisition of control of indigenous lands and encouraging the administration of Biden. Restart oil and gas rents on public lands.

The white-tailed deer fluttered on the grass in the Tulgras Premium Prevention in Pavushika, Oklahoma.  Oklahoma Gov. Kevin State (EPA) has called for the removal of control of tribal lands.
The white-tailed deer fluttered on the grass in the Tulgras Premium Prevention in Pavushika, Oklahoma. Governor Kevin State called on the EPA to seize control of the land. Photograph – Donald Davin / Alam

Jesse Coleman, senior researcher at the document team, has been researching the IOGCC for years. He was shocked to see a fake orphanage program mediator, calling the group a “more powerful, more direct role” than the one he was getting. No government body said there was a problem. IOGCC.

Any real amount of energy going to this company, which is funded by the oil and gas industry, [strips] It is far removed from the real government agencies that have control and accountability, ”said Coleman.

Representative of the Democratic Republic of New Mexico, Sen. Ben Ray Lujan, who co-sponsored the law, explained that the role of the IOGCC was to provide technical support and advice.

Lujan’s office said: “Consultation is out of control.”

In the past, two lawmakers have not responded to questions about the IOGCC’s role in infrastructure accounting, with Colorado Senator Michael Bennett and New Mexico’s Theresa Leger Fernandez responding to questions about the IOGCC. Amendment to federal land during the budget reconciliation process.

Lawyers say most of these measures will not stop digging and leaving well on public and private land.

Angry landowners and advocates say loose rules have long allowed companies to cover only a fraction of the actual cost of installing water wells. In Colorado, for example, state regulators require manufacturers to post $ 10,000 to $ 20,000 to cover future costs of closing wells when the actual cost is close to $ 140,000. In other states, such as Texas, the total cost is $ 100 billion.

Oil and gas giants are buying small production wells for small companies that are drying up. But as those small companies later went bankrupt – as the epidemic intensified – the fossil fuels that dug the first wells raised hundreds of billions in sanitation costs in cash.

The program will ultimately cost those clearing costs – estimated at $ 280 billion – to taxpayers, especially those who suffer from the effects of oil spills and scratches. The proximity to the pit is associated with an increased risk of preterm birth and childhood cancer.

The leaders of the environmental organizations, the National Wildlife Federation and the Environmental Fund have approved the current law. John Goldstein, senior director of regulatory and legal affairs for the ADF, said the group was not concerned about the impact of the ICC. “We didn’t want to see this opportunity pass by,” he said.

Rob Schwitch, executive director of the North American Office of Carbon Monitoring, said the federal program in infrastructure accounting was necessary to drill a hole where no one was responsible.

“Does the question motivate people to close wells because they think federal money is there?” he said. In addition, the installation of orphan wells does not eliminate emissions from the oil and gas sector anywhere near the scale needed to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change, scientists have indicated, as long as drilling continues.

“I think [lawmakers] He needs to look into the matter and make sure that not only money but also incentives and moral hazards can be put in place. ” “There must be a good quid pro quo”

This story has been published as part of a coverage climate for international media coverage that strengthens the coverage of the climate story

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