"Pennsylvania’s environmental regulator says, over a five-year period, more than half of conventional oil and gas operators failed to report how much gas they pulled from the ground and whether their equipment is safe.
State law requires that conventional drillers report that information annually. Failing to do so could lead to fines, permit suspensions or even criminal charges. But a lack of state resources means many operators have been able to ignore the rules with no consequences.
“Most disturbingly,” a new report from the Department of Environmental Protection says, inspectors found more than 3,000 newly-abandoned wells–the most frequent violation over the review period. Abandoned wells leak the potent greenhouse gas methane, which contributes to climate change, and threatens peoples’ health and safety."