WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s plan to transform America’s infrastructure includes $16 billion to plug old oil and gas wells and clean up abandoned mines.

Hundreds of thousands of “orphaned” oil and gas wells and abandoned coal and hardrock mines pose serious safety hazards, while causing ongoing environmental damage.

The administration sees the longstanding problem as an opportunity to create jobs and remediate pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

Many of the old wells and mines are located in rural communities that have been hard-hit by the pandemic.

Some sites have sat unattended for decades.

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