Hello fellow Coloradans (or the 99.9% asked to pay for the mess of billionaires and multi-millionaires):
How’d you like to get a bill in the near future for $7.7 billion? That’s what it will cost to close the 52,000 unplugged oil and gas wells in this state. Why are you getting the bill you ask? Well, because, as Commissioner Bill Gonzalez said, drillers have better things to do with their money than clean up after themselves or give the state a deposit for this. Yep, the Polis administration and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) are making you their sugar daddy, so they can pass on the costs of the 15 operators (including Exxon and Chevron) that produce 90% of the oil and gas in Colorado and the “small” operators producing the remainder, still making $7 million/year and up, as their representative shared.
You aren’t alone in recalling that the legislature passed a law several years ago that was supposed to protect the people and the environment with regard to all oil and gas activities. The legislature passed SB 181 three years ago. But the Polis administration has taken the side of the oily millionaires and billionaires and decided to not ask Chevron and all its smaller cousins for full bonding of all wells, yet another side step in this administration’s reluctance to carry out the expressed intent of SB 181 and HB1261 from spring 2019.
Holy Toledo, is there anything else I should know? Well, please be sitting down when we tell you that there are another 70,000 closed wells out there, some actually buried under people’s homes that belong to you or soon will. Many were capped decades ago before there were any engineering standards for well closings. Some of them leak. More will leak as the present seal breaks down over time. They are a gift to you from the oil industry. Research shows that even properly sealed wells crack within 20-30 years. Concrete cracks. Fumes are released. Each well bore is likely to require checking and maintenance forever. You’ve got to be kidding. What can I do? Contact the COGCC this weekend:
Please tell them we need full cost bonding for all wells now. More info is available at https://bit.ly/FullCostBondingIsEssential.