Diversified’s deal with West Virginia on plugging old oil wells shows rules need to change, environmental groups say

December 7, 2018 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PEC in the News

As Appalachian states are increasingly dotted with abandoned and unplugged oil wells, environmental groups that have been pressuring state regulators to get tougher on the issue say they’ll need to appeal to legislatures to change the rules…

…[VP for Legal & Government Affairs John] Walliser, who is a senior vice president for legal affairs with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, said his group is also weighing how to press the issue in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

One idea is to get rid of blanket bonding — the rule that allows companies to pay $25,000 to cover the plugging liability for all of their wells in the state. Then, he’d like to see bond amounts raised from the $2,500 per well currently on the books to something more in line with the actual cost of well plugging, which can vary widely depending on the condition of the well and the operating costs of the company…


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