Senator targets abandoned and orphaned wells


Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D) announced two bills to tackle the clean up of abandoned, or “orphaned,” oil and gas wells.

Bennet’s Oil and Gas Bonding Reform and Orphaned Well Remediation Act would create a fund to expand orphaned well cleanup on federal, state and tribal lands and would boost individual and statewide bonding requirements to $75,000 and $200,000, respectively, while also removing “inadequate” bonding mechanisms.

The multi-billion-dollar fund would be administered by the Interior Department in coordination with the departments of Agriculture and Energy, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission according to POLITICO.

The other bill, dubbed the Public Engagement Opportunity on Public Land Exploration Act, would require agencies to directly notify public land user groups — like recreation or grazing groups — surface owners, and local governments of upcoming lease nominations and bids.


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