My name is Regan Boychuk. I’m a roofer by day and a researcher by night. For the past few years, I’ve been digging into a big question: Who’s going to clean up the 450,000 wells Alberta’s conventional oil and gas industry has drilled across every corner of this province?
The crude oil and natural gas industries haven’t turned a profit since 2009 and the cost to abandon and reclaim old wells averages a few hundred thousand per well — which means the clean-up costs, if left to the public, could bankrupt the province.
As a lifelong Albertan, I’m concerned about the mess we’re leaving for future generations. As I’ve dug further into this work, I’ve also come to understand that cleaning up these wells could be the biggest job-creation campaign this province has ever seen — putting every oil and gas rigger back to work, for decades to come.
Along with The Leap and other partners in Alberta, our research has led us to come up with a plan to deal with these aging and expired oil and gas wells. It’s a radical new way to manage and fund the problem of unfunded cleanup of oilfield infrastructure. We call it A.R.T. (Alberta Reclamation Trust). And along with other partners, the team at The Leap has given us the tools to get to work.
We’re organizing people to take action, and putting pressure on our government to put people back to work and make polluters pay. We’d love for you to get involved – whether you live in Alberta or anywhere else. Our dream is to help Alberta make a real leap: full employment for oil and gas workers that heals the land and gets us off of fossil fuels for good.