State lawmaker says Michigan should draw revenue from the oil well

LANSING, MI – A state lawmaker says Michigan could bring in a lot of revenue if it re-taps closed gas and oil wells.

Representative Mike Simpson says the state could work with oil companies that pump CO-2 into reserves to draw out the remaining fuel. One site he'd like to see tapped is beneath Pigeon River in the northern Lower Peninsula.

"There's about an eight year supply of natural gas in that one region alone that we could tap through existing wells using this process that would generate a billion and a half dollars over seven to eight years in the state of Michigan," he said.

But environmentalists say re-opening the Pigeon River well could harm the surrounding ecosystem. Environmental groups also say not enough is known about CO-2 injection technology that would be used to extract the gas from underground.

Simpson appeared on Michigan public television's "Off The Record."