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Spindletop II

In the second part of our series on the oil century, NPR's John Burnett reports on the environmental legacy of oil and gas production. For every barrel of oil and gas produced, some 50 barrels of salt water or brine are created. The salinity fouls the well and the land around it. A lot of big oil companies have sold their leases to smaller independent companies and many of them have decided not to take care of their wells, leaving a large number of orphan wells leaking brine. In Texas, both the government and the oil industry are in favor of plugging up these polluting wells. The state plugs 1300-1500 wells a year. The activists in this case are not environmentalists, but land-owners.

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