Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Attends Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Signing Ceremony
Washington, November 15, 2021
Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) attended a White House ceremony where President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. This bipartisan legislation delivers on President Biden’s promise to Build Back Better. It makes the largest, long-term investment in the country’s infrastructure in nearly a century, helping to grow the economy, create new jobs, and enhance the country’s competitiveness for the 21st century. It also includes Congresswoman Fletcher’s bill, the Revive Economic Growth and Reclaim Orphaned Wells (REGROW) Act of 2021, to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells, which can leak methane, contaminate groundwater, and create safety risks for neighboring communities. There are more than 56,000 documented “orphaned” or abandoned oil and gas wells across the country, many of them in Texas. This legislation aims to plug every documented orphaned well in the country by investing $4.7 billion toward cleaning up these sites, creating tens of thousands of energy jobs for skilled oil and gas workers.
“I am so glad that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes our effort to clean up orphaned wells,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “This is a win for our environment and for our energy sector, creating jobs for oilfield workers in Texas and across the country. I am grateful for President Biden’s leadership on this historic infrastructure investment in our country, and I was so proud to watch him sign the bill into law today.”
Among its provisions is a tremendous investment in cleaning up abandoned or orphaned well sites, based on bipartisan legislation Congresswoman Fletcher introduced with Congressman Kelly Armstrong in the House of Representative. Most documented orphaned wells are located on state and private land. Even before the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies and states responsible for plugging and reclaiming these wells had limited funding for cleanup. According to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, Texas has the largest orphaned well plugging program out of 35 states responding to a survey on orphaned well plugging operations, plugging around 1,400 of the 3,356 orphaned wells in 2018.