03/14/2016 05:45 EDT | Updated 03/14/2016 05:59 EDT

Petroleum Services Association of Canada Asks For $500 Million To Clean Up Wells

Shutterstock / Calin Tatu

CALGARY — An energy industry group wants $500 million in federal infrastructure funding to clean up inactive oil and gas wells.

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada says its members don't typically ask for government money.

The group also acknowledges that it's a company's responsibility to decommission wells that are no longer producing.

But PSAC CEO Mark Salkeld says these aren't normal times, with investment plunging and tens of thousands of people in the industry laid off.

Salkeld calls the proposal a win-win — putting member companies back to work while addressing an environmental challenge.

PSAC says as of January of this year, Alberta had more than 75,000 inactive wells that needed to be decommissioned and the sums being requested would cover a fraction of that work.

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