Biden is sending more than $1 billion to states to plug abandoned oil and gas wells

The Biden administration on Monday announced it will send $1.15 billion to states to plug thousands of orphan oil and gas wells that emit methane, a potent climate-changing greenhouse gas.
The money will go to the 26 states that submitted notices of intent to the Department of the Interior last year.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement that the funding enables the government to “confront the legacy pollution and long-standing environmental injustices.”

The Biden administration on Monday announced it will send $1.15 billion to states to plug thousands of orphan oil and gas wells that emit methane, a potent climate-changing greenhouse gas.

Methane is a main component of natural gas and accounts for 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The oil and gas industry represents nearly 30% of the country’s methane emissions.

Methane is 84 times more potent than carbon and doesn’t last as long in the atmosphere before it breaks down, which makes it a significant target for reducing global warming more quickly while simultaneously working to reduce other greenhouse gases.

The funding to plug oil and gas wells comes from President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, which allocated a total of $4.7 billion to form a new federal program to address the thousands of wells abandoned across the country.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement that the funding enables the government to “confront the legacy pollution and long-standing environmental injustices that for too long have plagued underrepresented communities.”

“We must act with urgency to address the more than one hundred thousand documented orphaned wells across the country and leave no community behind,” Haaland said. “This is good for our climate, for the health of our communities, and for American workers.” 

The money will go to the 26 states that submitted notices of intent to the Department of Interior last year, including more than $100 million each for Pennsylvania and Texas. Roughly 9 million people live within a mile of an abandoned oil and gas well, some of which emit harmful gases that disproportionately impact low-income communities of colour in the U.S.

Source: abcNEWS