Oklahoma to receive $78 million from feds for abandoned well cleanup
Oklahoma will receive about $78 million out of more than $1.1 billion President Biden says will be used to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells nationwide—wells that are a source of methane emissions.
Under the plan to be implemented by the Interior Department, Oklahoma’s share in the first phase would $78,168,000 but the amount could grow in later phases to $230,227,000. Oklahoma is one of 26 states that will be eligible for the cleanup funds.
“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is enabling us to confront the legacy pollution and long-standing environmental injustices that for too long have plagued underrepresented communities,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. “We must act with urgency to address the more than one hundred thousand documented orphaned wells across the country and leave no community behind. This is good for our climate, for the health of our communities, and for American workers.”
The allocations for Oklahoma and the other 26 states 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.
The funding announced this week will be available to states to identify and plug orphaned wells, remediate and reclaim lands impacted by oil and gas development activities, and remove infrastructure associated with the wells. The 26 states eligible for this funding collectively represent nearly every state with documented orphan wells in the country.