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Farm Progress America, July 20, 2023Farm Progress America, July 20, 2023

Mike Pearson takes a look at the number of abandoned gas wells in rural America.

July 20, 2023

Mike Pearson tells us the challenges Rural America has to live with -- including abandoned gas wells.

According to the U.S. Department of Interior, there are over 122,000 orphan gas well sites where owners can be located.

The gas wells are often eye sores, responsible for polluting water and are rates as the tenth cause of methane releases into the environment.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resource says new wells are found everyday in Ohio.

In 2021, the Infrastructure legislation passed by Congress created 4.7 billion in funding to start capping wells.

However, the money is living up to its promise.

Both logistical and regulatory challenges have left states limited in what they can do with the funding.

And the U.S. Department of Interior may have made it worse. When the legislation was originally created, it made the water pollution and methane monitoring voluntary.

However, a couple of weeks ago, it was announced that the monitoring is not required which means a dramatic increase in the cost of dealing with the wells and a decrease in the number of wells that can be capped.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Mike Pearson, a farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

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