Joe Biden’s plan to plug tens of thousands of abandoned oil wells across the US risks rewarding fossil fuel operators who shirk their clean-up responsibilities and hooking the industry on taxpayer bailouts, critics say.

The president’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal includes $16 billion for cleaning up disused wells and mines. The White House reckons the project could create “hundreds of thousands” of jobs while ending hazardous leaks.

But some analysts argue the project will leave taxpayers footing a bill for past negligence and encourage more bad behavior in the future.

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