Federal Dollars Could Connect PA Unions to Orphaned Well Clean-Up
Thursday, September 7, 2023
Congress allocated billions of dollars in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to plug orphaned well sites across the country, and Pennsylvania is one of the states to receive the help.
The Keystone State is eligible to receive $76 million in Phase One formula grants, which are grants states do not have to compete for, but for which they must still apply and meet certain criteria. Pennsylvania plans to plug 227 wells.
Ted Boettner, senior researcher at the Ohio River Valley Institute, suggested the money could help create good-paying union jobs, which will create lots of opportunities for workers.
"One of them is to incorporate project labor agreements in these contracts. Another one is to ensure that there is apprenticeship utilization requirements," Boettner outlined. "Say 25 to 50% of the workers would have to come from a federally approved apprenticeship program."
Last month, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro issued an executive order to create an on-the-job training grant program with money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Boettner's research showed those dollars could be vital in establishing the state's first union apprenticeship program for well plugging and reclamation.
Boettner added grant requirements include provisions on how states can engage with energy workers and unions, and how they plan to partner with workforce development programs to plug the hundreds of thousands of wells in the region.
"The guidance asks states if they plan to incorporate high road development strategies, such as project labor agreements, local hiring provisions, Community Benefit Agreements, and whether contractors are responsible and pre-qualified," Boettner explained. "And they say that states, have to plan to monitor whether a plugin job was successful."
Boettner pointed out Pennsylvania will receive $306 million in total formula grants. He emphasized the grants will give Pennsylvania the opportunity to ensure the money stays local, noting installing cement plugs and mud helps both the environment and the local economy.
get more stories like this via email
A bill in Congress with a Connecticut House sponsor aims to reduce child labor in the United States. Called the "Children Harmed in Life-Threatening …
As the opioid crisis continues, more New Hampshire grandparents are seeking financial help to raise their grandchildren. Already struggling with the …
As of Jan. 1, insulin will become a lot more affordable for many Nebraskans, and those who have come to rely on telehealth visits are more likely to …
Some state and local lawmakers are on a long list calling on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to require big oil companies to help offset the costs of …
Utilities and government agencies in the U.S. are carrying out plans to transition to cleaner electricity sources. To avoid being left behind…
Health and Wellness
November has been Diabetes Awareness Month - but heading into the holidays, people who are diabetic know they can't lose their focus on keeping it in …
Conservation groups are celebrating a long-fought battle to protect the dwindling population of wolverine in the Northwest and northern Rockies…
As world leaders gather in Dubai for the international conference on climate change, the City of Long Beach is acting on multiple fronts to help the …