Who Pays the Cost of Fracking?
|October 31, 2013||Posted by Staff under Environmental, Subsidies & Waste & Public Debt|
As fracking expands at a frenzied pace in several states and federal officials consider allowing fracking near national parks and forests and key drinking water sources, Who Pays the Costs of Fracking?
Current bonding requirements are inadequate to cover the costs of damage from gas drilling.
Just reclaiming a fracking site can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the damage done by fracking —- from contaminated groundwater to ruined roads —- can cost millions of dollars.
But the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) generally requires drillers to post bonds of only $10,000 per lease or a blanket bond of only $25,000 for all wells in any one state; all but eight states require bonds of less than $50,000; and these bonds only cover the cost of site reclamation and well plugging, providing little or no up-front financial assurance for the broader damage done by fracking.
By 2006 there were already 59,000 abandoned oil and gas wells and at least another 90,000 whose status is unknown. The potential cost for just plugging these wells exceeds $780 billion.
From coal to oil to mining, every boom of extraction left pollution that future generations must grapple with.