Report: Plugging orphan wells in Appalachia could create 16,000 jobs

(The Center Square) — With federal taxpayer dollars flowing in to plug orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells, the Appalachian region could see thousands of jobs created in the next few decades.

A report from the Ohio River Valley Institute argues that Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky could create 13,000-16,000 direct jobs with $1.3 billion in federal funds to reduce methane. The reductions would come from monitoring and repairing equipment, along with plugging old orphaned oil and gas wells scattered across Northern and Central Appalachia.

The money for this initiative comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act: about $200 million would go to Kentucky, $288 million to West Virginia, $366 million to Ohio, and $490 million to Pennsylvania.

“We are at the very beginning stage of what could be people’s whole careers involved in plugging and abandonment (or decommissioning) oil and gas wells
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