Senators Push for Oil Well Remediation
Friday, December 9, 2022
ND Senator Kevin Cramer, along with New Mexico Senator Ben Ray Luján, introduced the Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act this week.

The bill proposes an investment in research and development to identify and remediate abandoned gas and oil wells, which can leak methane, contaminate groundwater, create community safety risks, and limit productive use of land.

Last year, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included Cramer and Lujan’s REGROW Act, which built on North Dakota’s program to put displaced energy workers back to work plugging orphaned wells. The legislation introduced this week seeks to improve methods for identifying, repurposing and remediating abandoned wells.

“North Dakota has led by example remediating abandoned wells and further progress has been made with the passage of the REGROW Act,” said Cramer. “Our bill keeps this momentum going by investing in new and innovative ways to track the problem and ultimately mitigate the damage so land is returned to productive use, emissions are reduced, and safety issues are addressed.”

The bill would authorize funding to enhance the abandoned well remediation programs currently authorized in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by ensuring that funds are dedicated to efforts that maximize benefits for affected communities and the energy sector. Specifically, the bill will support the Department of Energy’s efforts to develop technology to detect and catalog abandoned wells more rapidly and efficiently, along with methods to more accurately quantify methane emissions.

Click here to read the bill.