North Dakota officials say there isn’t enough time left to clean up every abandoned oil field well site they had intended to this year using federal coronavirus aid, so they want to repurpose $16 million and put it toward grants for fracking.
Regulators present the proposal as a way to create jobs and help stabilize state revenue, while some in the environmental community view it as a bailout for the oil industry.
Under the proposal that the North Dakota Emergency Commission is considering, oil companies would be eligible for a $200,000 reimbursement per well they complete. The money would go toward acquiring and disposing of water used in the hydraulic fracturing process, in which water, sand and chemicals are injected deep underground to crack rock and release oil.
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