Places like Alberta and Saskatchewan already have many tens of thousands of abandoned wells, many of which were not closed down properly or at all, thus continuing to leak methane and toxic air and water. The auditor of Saskatchewan estimates this will cost $4 billion, while in Alberta the amount may be $260 billion. The industry was never asked to put aside anywhere near enough money to cover this, and because of the poor financial status of the industry many companies are bankrupt or nearly so. It’s likely that the federal government – meaning taxpayers – will have to bear some responsibility for this.
- The silence on Alberta’s $260 billion environmental liability is deafening (13 Nov 2018, National Observer)
- Alberta’s Mega Oil and Gas Liability Crisis, Explained, (4 Feb 2019, The Tyee)
- Increase in inactive oil and gas wells could cost Saskatchewan $4B in future cleanup: auditor (8 June 0218, CBC)