Thursday May 23, 2024

Center for Biological Diversity

A bill that would substantially increase oil companies’ requirements to plug and clean up idled oil and gas wells across the state passed the California Assembly today. California currently has more than 40,000 wells that sit idle, but existing laws do little to force operators to plug these dangerous wells.

The bill from Assemblymember Gregg Hart (D-Santa Barbara) is sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity. It’s backed by more than 100 public health, labor and environmental groups, who sent a letter of support for the bill, which would speed well cleanup, protect communities and the climate, and create tens of thousands of jobs.

“Legislators agree that it’s time to make polluters pay for their dangerous leaking wells,” said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “This crucial bill will finally force oil companies to start their massive cleanup job and ensure these costs don’t land on the taxpayer.”

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