NEW CASTLE, Colo. —
Factors also include whether the well is near a high-pressure formation or whether the drill operator lacks a clear track record of service.
Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, on Monday said he will press Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to explain what the department will do to increase well inspections in light of the AP report.
“The fines Interior Department inspectors can levy on oil and gas companies who violate drilling safety requirements amount to a slap on the wrist — they are nowhere near a sufficient financial deterrent to ensure that companies put safety ahead of speed. Now there is increasing evidence that potentially dangerous wells go uninspected altogether,” he said. “We need to ensure that the oil industry is paying its fair share to drill on public lands.”
BLM’s deputy director, Linda Lance, said the current rate of inspections “is simply not acceptable to us.”
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