Wyoming offers an important case study for how the Biden administration’s oil and gas bonding reforms take a sensible approach for protecting taxpayers
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) -Accountable.US today released a study showing that updated state bonding requirements implemented by Wyoming in 2015 took critical action to address the threat of orphaned wells across the state while having negligible impact on the industry’s ability to develop oil and gas resources. Now, the Biden administration proposes to take similar action in the federal oil and gas leasing program by raising federal bonding rates in order to hold oil and gas companies accountable to cleaning up after themselves once they’re done drilling our public lands. Tomorrow is the final day for public comment on this long and many other long-overdue updates to the federal leasing system that are included in the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed oil and gas rule.
“The Biden administration’s bonding reforms take necessary action to protect taxpayers from expensive clean-ups they didn’t cause,” said Chris Marshall, spokesperson for Accountable.US. “Local leaders who want to build stronger communities with revenue from oil and gas extraction instead of paying to clean up the oil industry’s messes should back this rule. Unfortunately, the knee-jerk opposition to this rule has revealed itself to be far more about partisan politics than delivering for the American people.”
The report shows that after Wyoming first implemented improved bonding regulations in 2015, production steadily increased and companies of all sizes operating in the state – including smaller, local companies – were able to continue drilling new wells that drove the upward trend towards production in the state reaching its highest level ever in 2018.
According to the BLM, there are at least 15,000 orphaned wells already littered on public lands across the country. The Biden administration now has a critical opportunity to prevent this number from growing by finalizing updates to the federal bonding system through its rulemaking. Despite being well-aware of how these common-sense changes will benefit western communities while having negligible impact on the industry’s ability to develop in the places it has always desired to do so, Wyoming’s governor and junior senator have opposed the reforms.
Copyright 2023 KGWN. All rights reserved.