Feds Failing To Inspect Over 1,000 High-Risk Oil And Gas Wells

"Johnson County, Wyo., is the kind of remote, quiet Western community where life revolves around cattle—it was the site of an infamous 19th-century armed battle between cowboys and suspected cattle rustlers. The county ranks only 11th statewide for oil production, but it holds the number-one ranking nationwide for a more ignominious distinction: It has 249 new, high-risk oil and gas wells that the federal government has failed to inspect for compliance with safety and environmental standards.

Johnson County may have the most uninspected wells, but it's far from the only place where the problem exists. In fact, of all 3,486 oil and gas wells drilled on federal and Indian land from 2009 to 2012 that were identified by the Bureau of Land Management as high-risk for pollution, 40 percent were not inspected at the most important stage of their development, according to records the BLM provided to Climate Desk."

Tim McDonnell and AJ Vicens report for Climate Desk/Mother Jones Junew 23, 2014.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014