June 15, 2014 2:00 pm -

blackfeet-oil-drillingThe sequester must be working!

Four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or otherwise identified as higher pollution risks escape federal inspection, unchecked by an agency struggling to keep pace with America’s drilling boom, according to an Associated Press review that shows wide state-by-state disparities in safety checks.

Roughly half or more of wells on federal and Indian lands weren’t checked in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, despite potential harm that has led to efforts in some communities to ban new drilling. In New Castle, a tiny Colorado River valley community, homeowners expressed chagrin at the large number of uninspected wells, many on federal land, that dot the steep hillsides and rocky landscape. Like elsewhere in the West, water is a precious commodity in this Colorado town, and some residents worry about the potential health hazards of any leaks from wells and drilling.

“Nobody wants to live by an oil rig. We surely didn’t want to,” said Joann Jaramillo, 54. …

According to [Bureau of Land Management] records for fiscal years 2009 to 2012, 1,400 of those high priority wells, spread across 13 states, were not federally inspected. Wyoming had the most, 632, or 45 percent. South Dakota had 1 out of 2 wells uninspected, and Pennsylvania had 1 out of 6.

All the higher risk wells were inspected in six states — Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio and Texas.

Many more wells are located on private lands, where state officials take the lead in ensuring they comply with environmental laws, with mixed results. Nationwide, there were nearly 500,000 producing gas wells in 2012, according to Energy Information Administration data. More than 1,800 new wells were being drilled in March alone.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

No responses to High-Risk US Gas, Oil Wells Are Not Being Inspected

  1. granpa.usthai June 15th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    If the rigs are located on federal lands, then it’s fully the state’s responsibility.

    so ordered by WHITE Governor Brian Sandoval (R) Nevada, CIC WHITE Bundy Bunch Milita.

    not to worry – as the WHITE Bundy Bunch Militia is actively serving all over the USA to insure there will be no ‘land grabs’ tolerated by the Government of the United States of America (as long as there’s an ‘Hawaiian’ in the WHITE House ).

  2. fancypants June 15th, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    oil rigs are not the only problem Feel free to add it to the list