The Narwhal discusses 11 things you need to know as Trudeau announces $1.7 billion to clean up ‘festering’ orphan and inactive wells. Federal funding will create jobs during the coronavirus crisis and help clean up environmental liabilities, but puts taxpayers on the hook for costs that were supposed to be paid by the oil and gas industry.
Calling orphan and inactive wells an issue that has been “festering for years,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a federal investment of $1.7 billion into the cleanup of old oil and gas wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. on Friday.
He estimated the cash infusion would create 5,200 jobs in Alberta alone, getting Albertans back to work “cleaning up their province.”
The program was developed in partnership with the Alberta government and municipalities, Trudeau said, adding the funding would help companies avoid bankruptcy.
Orphan and inactive wells, he said, can be “detrimental not only to our environment, but to people’s health.”
He noted that farmers and landowners have long struggled to grow crops in areas where wells have contaminated the soil.