It was with great pleasure that I attended the launch of the citizens’ initiative “In Search of Abandoned Wells”. This effort was set up to denounce the government’s inaction following numerous leaks in abandoned gas and oil wells across Quebec.

The rally was held around the abandoned well in Sainte-Françoise. This well has been leaking methane gas for some time, and is releasing enough gas to heat several homes for a full year.

Once abandoned by the oil industry at the end of their useful life, wells become the responsibility of the government. The maintenance of abandoned wells increases the tax burden on taxpayers and can even be interpreted as an additional subsidy to the oil industry. Nevertheless, the government is failing to live up to its responsibilities in this area.

In fact, a few weeks ago, the citizens’ group requested a meeting with the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Natural Resources. Surprisingly, instead of responding in writing, the ministers simply sent a new fence to the site to prevent access to the well, which was very poorly received by the community.

The Green Party of Quebec supports the citizens’ initiative and encourages all Quebeckers to be vigilant around abandoned gas and oil wells.

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