Luján Touts REGROW Act While Touring Orphaned Wells in Southeastern New Mexico
Hobbs, N.M. – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) joined the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) for a tour of three well sites in southeastern New Mexico. Senator Luján visited an abandoned well, a remediated well, and a well that is fully functioning to observe how it can be addressed at the “end-of-life” before becoming orphaned. Last week, Senator Luján successfully secured the passage of the Revive Economic Growth and Reclaim Orphaned Wells (REGROW) Act through the Senate-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Senator Luján introduced the REGROW Act with U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells, which can leak methane, contaminate groundwater, and create community safety risks. According to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, there are more than 56,000 documented orphaned wells across the United States, including more than 700 in New Mexico.
“Orphaned wells pose serious public health and environmental risks for New Mexicans. As I toured orphaned well sites this afternoon, I saw firsthand the importance of cleaning up these sites to protect the environment and put New Mexicans back to work in the process,” said Luján. “I was proud to secure the REGROW Act as part of the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure legislation, and I’ll continue working with my colleagues to get these provisions across the finish line.”
“EMNRD’s Oil Conservation Division staff were honored to provide Senator Ben Ray Luján with a tour of orphan well sites to bring additional attention to the importance of plugging and remediating these areas,” said EMNRD Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst. “The REGROW Act would allow our Department to remediate more orphan wells, which protects our land, air, and water and reinvests in New Mexico communities. We thank the Senator for his support and look forward to continuing to work together to remediate more orphan wells.”