Home > General > The Government Is Failing To Inspect Over 1,000 High-Risk Oil And Gas Wells

The Government Is Failing To Inspect Over 1,000 High-Risk Oil And Gas Wells

Emilio Cogliani

This story originally appeared on Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

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…

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