Saturday, December 4, 2021

US Finalizes Rule to Limit Gas ‘Flaring’ at Drilling Sites

By on November 15, 2016

CUERO, TX - MARCH 26: Natural gas is flared off at a plant outside of the town of Cuero, Texas. Texas, which in just the last five years has tripled its oil production and delivered hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy, is looking at what could be a sustained downturn in prices. Crude oil prices today are almost 60 percent lower than they were six months ago.While the Texan economy has become more diversified over the years, oil is still the states largest monetary generator and any sustained downturn would be devastating for employment and the economy. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas this month said a drop in oil prices have been responsible for 39,621 job cuts in the first two months of the year.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is moving to complete rules intended to clamp down on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public lands.

New rules finalized Tuesday seek to reduce waste and harmful methane emissions as President Barack Obama addresses climate change.

Energy companies frequently “flare” or burn off vast supplies of natural gas at drilling sites because it makes less money than oil. A government report last year said 40 percent of the gas being flared or vented could be captured economically and sold.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says natural gas should be used to power the economy and not be wasted by being burned away. She says drilling rules are 30 years old and need to be updated.

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