It’s only been a week since we reported on the latest and greatest from Western Energy Alliance’s dirty and dishonest political tactics, but apparently there’s no rest for the WEAry (…get it?). BLM is now reporting a 2,400% increase in applications by oil and gas companies to burn natural gas and vent it into the atmosphere on public lands—without paying taxpayers a single cent. And WEA is doubling down on their uber-lobbyist’s recommendation to tell the tallest tales possible, claiming that in order to serve its conservation- and energy-related goals, the Obama Administration should allow even more natural gas to get burned or released into the atmosphere on public lands—wasted forever, with no returns for the average American.
According to the Bureau of Land Management, watching America’s energy supply—and taxpayer dollars—literally go up in flames has become the hottest fad for those oil and gas companies who have no interest in balancing development with our western way of life. By the numbers:
But apparently, that’s not nearly enough wasted gas and damage to our western way of life for WEA. Last May, they made sure to “warn” the BLM that any rule that required oil and gas companies to actually pay for the taxpayer-owned gas they burn or release into the atmosphere would somehow harm our American energy supply. Makes sense… if you’re more concerned about short-term, slash-and-burn bottom lines than actually capturing America’s energy for Americans.
Unfortunately for WEA, westerners know when the obvious, simple, and honest solution is the right one: 69% of us want oil and gas companies to start paying for the gas they’re venting and flaring. And in places like the Permian Basin in Carlsbad, NM, the BLM isn’t waiting; they’re asking drillers to pay royalties on the gas they vent or flaring right now.
When it comes to venting and flaring gas, WEA is the kid with the biggest candy haul on Halloween: eating it all up in one day, regardless of the consequences, no matter what excuses they have to make. And just like parents have to tell their kids they’ve had enough, it’s time for BLM to tell oil companies that they can either start paying for what they’re taking, or they can leave it for folks who actually want to use it.