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U.S. to Plug More than 10,000 Abandoned Carbon-Emitting Oil and Gas Wells in 24 States


An old oil well in Texas

A new program under President Biden’s infrastructure bill is set to plug up more than 10,000 wells of oil and natural gas that have since been abandoned.

Once sources of energy, these derelict wells now act merely as exhaust pipes that emit methane from the basins into which they were drilled, increasing America’s emissions with no return or value of any kind.

The Dept. of the Interior has identified just over 10,000 high priority wells on public lands across 24 states that had been leased for oil and gas drilling.

These are just a fraction of the over 100,000 total derelict wells that need to be dealt with, not only to reduce unnecessary emissions, but serious safety hazards as methane is not safe to breathe, and is also flammable.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is enabling us to confront long-standing environmental injustices by making a historic investment to plug orphaned wells throughout the country,” said Secretary Deb Haaland.

“At the Department of the Interior, we are working on multiple fronts to clean up these sites as quick as we can by investing in efforts on federal lands and partnering with states and Tribes to leave no community behind.

Of states eligible for funding, 22 have been allocated $25 million each in Initial State Grants. Arkansas and Mississippi will receive $5 million each to support methane measurement and begin plugging wells.

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Oklahoma, Kentucky, have each to their own identified 1,000 or more such wells, while Texas and Louisiana have identified around 800.

Kansas has found more than 2,000 in its state alone.

Climate advocates are proposing wild things like downsizing the beef industry, or culling millions of deer in order to reduce American methane emissions, but it seems a no brainer that the first thing society would do is eliminate sources that do nothing for no one.

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To that effect, the Dept. has found the best, permanent solution to reduce methane emissions.

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