In early June, the Western Governor’s Association met in Colorado Springs to discuss key issues facing western states including wildfire, drought, energy development and state funding. Unfortunately, the lack of federal oversight of natural gas flaring, or the burning of natural gas when it is produced with oil, is costing these states millions in potential revenue each year.
Governors can play a central role in protecting their state budgets from, and working to curb, this wasteful practice. Western Values Project has released new state specific fact sheets on natural gas flaring for three key energy-producing states. The release of the fact sheets comes on the heels of a Western Values Project report detailing the wasteful practice of venting and flaring natural gas on public lands.
“While states struggle to balance their budgets, millions of dollars in lost revenue goes up in flames due to flaring, said Ross Lane Director of Western Values Project. “It’s time for industry, states, and federal land managers to work together and drastically reduce such a wasteful practice.”
Key Fact Sheet Highlights
- Lost revenues from venting and flaring in Colorado in 2013, $7.9 million is slightly more than what the State gained through March ($7.3 million) from recreational marijuana tax revenue.
- Venting and flaring of natural gas in Colorado on federal lands alone cost taxpayers at least $36,136,367 since 2009 and $7,950,266 in just 2013.
Read the Colorado Fact Sheet
- New Mexico’s entire public defender budget, with a caseload of over 77,000 cases is $42 million for FY 2014, the same amount the state has missed out on since 2009 from venting and flaring revenue
- The natural gas lost on and off of federal lands in New Mexico in 2012 could have met 45% of residential consumers’ needs for natural gas that year, or enough to meet the needs of every home in the state for December and January.
Read the New Mexico Fact Sheet
- What Utah has lost in revenue since 2009 could have paid for nearly one-third of the State’s entire annual higher education budget of $50 million.
- Foregone revenues for Utah alone since 2009 would pay the 2014 budget of Utah County’s Sheriff’s Department.
Read the Utah Fact Sheet