Biden Administration Announces $1.15 Billion for States to Create Jobs Cleaning Up Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells
WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced $1.15 billion in funding is available to states from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to create jobs cleaning up orphaned oil and gas wells across the country. This is a key initiative of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which allocated a total of $4.7 billion to create a new federal program to address orphan wells. Millions of Americans across the country live within a mile of an orphaned oil and gas well.
The Department today released the amount of funding that states are eligible to apply for in Phase One, which includes up to $25 million in Initial Grant funding and a quarter of the total Formula Grant money available for the 26 states that submitted NOIs. These allocations were determined using the data provided by states from the NOIs and equally considers the following factors required by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: job losses in each state from March 2020 through November 2021; the number of documented orphaned oil and gas wells in each state; and the estimated cost of cleaning up orphaned wells in each state.
Application guidance will also be released in the coming months for states to access the Formula Grant funding they are eligible for, followed by further instructions to apply for the $1.5 billion in state Performance Grants, the third type of state grant program set up in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Tribal orphaned well grant program, a $150 million component of the broader orphaned well program, is being informed by ongoing Tribal consultations and listening sessions. The law also provides for a separate $250 million program for remediation of orphan wells on federal land, which will be implemented through Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.