We recently shared a study that found that plugging abandoned oil and gas wells is not only a win for the environment but can also generate billions of dollars in new jobs and avoiding pollution. A new study from the Ohio River Valley Institute supports these initial findings and lays out the specific benefits for Central Appalachia.
According to the report, the four states of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky account for at least 538,000 unplugged abandoned oil and gas wells. These wells pour 71,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere each year. That’s equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions produced from 383,000 passenger vehicles.
Plugging these wells would not only stop these emissions but also generate an estimated 15,151 jobs per year over 20 years for the region. These jobs are in high demand as coal jobs decline with the rise of green energy. Plugging wells is a win-win for the environment and the economy and frees up land that once served for drilling to be used for other purposes, like farming and green energy generation.