Fed govt acknowledges gaps in oil well inspections

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal agency is acknowledging it needs to do more to improve oversight of oil and gas drilling after it failed to inspect oil and gas wells considered to be potentially high risks for water contamination.

Jeff Krauss of the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management notes his agency has strived to keep up with the nation's energy boom.

He says BLM is counting on Congress to approve a budget request that would allow it to use $10 million raised from oil fees to pay for inspections.

An investigation by the Government Accountability Office found that BLM didn't conduct inspections on more than 2,100 of 3,702 wells.

Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts sent a letter asking that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell explain what BLM will do to increase well inspections.