Fight for California Idle Wells to be Cleaned Up

Across California, there are unsuspecting sources of pollution that have been silently leaking into our communities and impacting our health: idle wells. These are oil and gas wells that haven't been produced in at least 2 years but haven't been plugged or cleaned up yet. Even though they are inactive, they can still leak powerful pollutants into the air, water, and soils in our neighborhoods. Forty percent of idle wells are estimated to leak pollutants like volatile organic compounds, which cause cancer, and high levels of methane -- a greenhouse gas that causes 80 times the amount of warming than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

California's idle and orphan well crisis is growing and three companies - Chevron, Aera Energy, and California Resources Corporation - own nearly 70% of the state's current stock of idle wells. These companies have more than enough global profits to be held responsible for cleaning up these wells, but current laws in California allow for these companies to avoid the responsibility for clean up. If nothing is done to address the industry's habit of skirting clean-up liability, taxpayers could be on the hook for billions of dollars in clean-up fees. 

With over 41,568 idle and orphaned oil and gas wells scattered across the state, our community's health and safety can't afford to wait for the fossil fuel companies to come to their senses and clean up their leaking wells. [1] We need to build a mass, coordinated movement to ensure that polluters pay to clean up their mess in California as our state transitions to clean energy, and that the burden of this cleanup doesn't fall on taxpayers. 

Help us ensure that our state and communities no longer suffer the consequences of Big Oil's negligence. 

Sign up to fight for idle and abandoned wells to be cleaned up in California! Stay tuned for next steps and updates here!

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