Legislation to Clean Up Orphaned Wells Will Create Jobs, Reform Bonding System

DENVER – A newly-reintroduced bill from U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) will clean up tens of thousands of orphaned wells across the nation and reform the bonding system. The Oil and Gas Bonding Reform and Orphaned Well Remediation Act will put people to work cleaning up abandoned wells while strengthening bonding requirements so that oil companies are responsible for future cleanups. 

“Orphaned oil and gas wells leak pollutants into groundwater, emit methane, and pose serious threats to people and wildlife. Senator Bennet’s orphaned well bill will put Americans to work cleaning up these sites, while also reforming the bonding system so we won’t be faced with this problem in the future,” said David Willms, senior director of Western wildlife and conservation at the National Wildlife Federation.

“There are more than 57,000 orphaned wells across the nation which threaten wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and human health. Senator Bennet’s bill will clean up these toxic sites and reform the antiquated bonding system so that in the future, oil and gas companies will have to pay for the cleanup—not the American taxpayer,” said Suzanne O’Neill, executive director of the Colorado Wildlife Federation.


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