As reported by the Houston Chronicle, The Biden administration will soon start distributing money to states to help clean up and seal abandoned oil and gas wells, known as "orphan wells."
More than any other state in the US, Texas is set to receive $343 million for that effort.
The money comes from Congress’ recently passed infrastructure spending package, and will help cover an already $20 million-a-year effort in the state.
“Never before has this country taken on a cleanup effort like this,” said White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu.
Officials said it is not only good for public health, it is also an economic opportunity.
Reportedly, Texas has a backlog of about 6,400 orphan wells that still need cleanup.
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, D-Houston pointed to research from Columbia University saying that a federal program to plug abandoned wells could create as many as 120,000 jobs, many throughout the state including oil heavy cities like Midland.
"These job losses have been especially acute in places like Texas and regions where oil and gas production occurs in the United States. And so as we work to recover from the pandemic, the funding that was announced this week and the additional funding that is still slated to come in future rounds will really provide incredible opportunities to get our skilled oil and gas workforce," Fletcher told reporters.
Jobs created will range from specialized to entry level jobs like laborers.