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Michigan House Republicans Want More Oil Out Of Preexisting Wells

Dec 25, 2015

Oil Well in Saline Township
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A state lawmaker says Michigan should encourage more companies to take oil out of existing wells that have already been capped.  Jake Neher has more.


A group of mostly Republican state lawmakers is pushing for more oil to be recovered from wells that have already been capped.  And they want the state to explore technologies that could capture greenhouse gasses produced during that process.

State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) introduced House Resolution 193 asking Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to explore the technologies, as well as policies that could promote them.   “To be able to sequester those gases and pull a product out at the same time is pretty awesome,” said Cole.  He acknowledges many fellow lawmakers still have a lot of questions about the process.  “You mean when they cap a well there’s still oil in the ground? Absolutely. You mean this isn’t fracking? No, this isn’t fracking.”

Lawmakers already passed a law in 2014 giving new tax breaks to companies who use the process, known as “enhanced oil recovery.”  Opponents at the time said there’s no reason to give tax breaks to an already profitable industry.

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— Jake Neher is the State Capitol Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org