Monday, January 30, 2023


Massachusetts could restrict police use of facial recognition technology, Wyoming mulls more health coverage for workers, and a report finds low salary contributes to social workers leaving the field.


Civil rights activists push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following the killing of Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he can reach a deal with President Biden on the debt ceiling, and election experts say 2023 could shape voting rights across the country.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Wyoming to Receive $25 Million for Orphan Wells Under Infrastructure Bill


Thursday, September 15, 2022   

President Joe Biden's bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is expected to bring more than 300 jobs to Wyoming to clean up and plug so-called orphaned oil and gas wells on public lands.

Bob LeResche, board member of the Powder River Basin Resource Council and the Western Organization of Resource Councils, is a longtime advocate for restoring Wyoming's iconic landscapes after drilling. He said wells abandoned by oil and gas producers pose a serious hazard for drinking water, agriculture and wildlife habitat.

"They leak methane, they leak volatile organic compounds which are toxic," LeResche explained. "And it just lasts forever. The casings will rust out and whatever is down below will come up and spread over the land. They're very destructive."

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management requires oil and gas operators to post bonds before drilling to ensure cleanup, but LeResche noted bonds can be as low as $10,000 on leases with 20 separate wells. Industry groups and operators have pushed back against efforts to make bond amounts equal to the costs of restoration, arguing the price would reduce exploration, limit outputs and increase dependency on foreign energy.

More than 2,300 well sites have been abandoned by producers in Wyoming, according to a recent Wyofile report. LaResche said most orphans are created when producers sell off leases through layers of limited liability corporations which can declare bankruptcy and walk away, leaving taxpayers on the hook for cleanup.

"There's no reason that the federal government should take on the risk, on behalf of us taxpayers, for somebody who's not going to meet their legal obligation to clean up after themselves," LaResche contended. "Basically, if they can't afford it, then they are not qualified to purchase the lease."

Under the infrastructure legislation, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is expected to receive $25 million for well-site restoration. LeResche acknowledged it will not solve the underlying problem of current Bureau of Land Management policies before drilling begins.

"BLM does not require enough bonds when they issue a drilling permit to guarantee that the wells will be cleaned up by the companies that should be cleaning them up, that are legally obligated to clean them up," LeResche asserted.

get more stories like this via email
Facial-recognition technology companies, which originally partnered with law enforcement, are now working with schools and universities to increase safety and prevent shootings by denying campus access to people who have been banned, or to monitor activity inside school buildings. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to ensure police use of facial-recognition technology also protects people's privacy and civ…


Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …

Social Issues

Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …

Since the beginning of 2022, seven Western states have initiated programs to maintain wildlife habitat and safe passage, through fencing, signs, overpasses and underpasses, according to Pew research. (TaborChichakly/Adobe Stock)


Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…

Social Issues

A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …

Super Bowl LVII will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12. (Katherine Welles/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…

Health and Wellness

It is not a pandemic yet, but eye doctors worry the constant use of digital devices could eventually result in long-term health problems for many …


Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021