By Jeff McMahon

You’ve heard about the earthquakes, the controversial claims of flammable tap water, the potential contamination of streams, lakes and drinking water aquifers, but the system that’s supposed to pay for these calamities may itself be a pending disaster.

Most states protect taxpayers from cleanup costs by requiring oil and gas producers to buy a surety bond that will pay in the event of a disaster. But those bond amounts, nearly everywhere in the U.S., are woefully inadequate to pay likely cleanup costs, said Ryan Kellogg, a professor of public policy at the University of Chicago.

“In just about any state the bond amounts are absolutely laughable,” Kellogg said Friday, calling the system a sham. “The bond amounts are minuscule compared to what reclamation costs often turn out to be.”

And reclamation projects are likely to multiply in coming decades as the more than 1.7 million fracked wells in the United States age…

Continue reading on Forbes…

Read More

Areas of Focus: Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic fracturing is perhaps the most important innovation in the energy system in the last half century, but nearby communities are concerned about its potential effects on water quality, public...