|Posted:||June 4, 2020 10:13 AM|
|From:||Representative Martin T. Causer and Rep. Kathy L. Rapp|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||PA Conventional Orphan Well Plugging Stimulus Program|
|Pennsylvania’s conventional oil and gas industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has destroyed demand for oil and gas nationwide, meaning the conventional industry that was already struggling to make ends meet has been forced to make drastic cuts and lay off employees. These businesses are not the large oil and gas conglomerates, but are typically small, family-owned businesses that employ many individuals in our local communities throughout the state.
As many of us are aware, there are hundreds of thousands of “orphaned” wells that pose environmental risks and risks to human health if they are not plugged. The Department of Environmental Protection does not have the expertise to carry out this mission and is only able to plug a handful of wells annually. The individuals who have the expertise are those currently working in the conventional oil and gas industry.
Our legislation will appropriate $25 million of federal stimulus money to provide funding for a program to begin to solve both of these problems at once. These funds will both help put unemployed and struggling Pennsylvanians back to work, while providing an important environmental benefit to the Commonwealth.
Please join us in cosponsoring this important legislation.