Think of it as Alberta's self-inflicted wound or Ralph Klein's lasting legacy. Ralph's Orphans are the 79 thousand abandoned oil wells that now litter the province and represent a multi-billion dollar clean up bill that Ralph deftly put on the taxpayers' tab.
... in 2000, the Klein government had freed oil executives from liability. As further demonstration of their gross negligence, Alberta regulators made this gob-smacking admission in 2004:
“During the last 15 years, property sales were very high and many of these inactive wells were transferred numerous times. With the sale of these wells, knowledge of wellbore conditions, and in some cases even knowledge of the well’s existence, was lost.”