Report: Methane pollution from venting and flaring on public lands up 51% 

North Dakota Oil BoomOil and gas development on America’s public lands continues to result in wasteful emissions, according to a new report out today. In fact, the report states that methane emissions from venting and flaring on federal onshore leases has risen by more than 51 percent since 2008.

The report release coincides with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s speech on energy and public lands this past Tuesday, where she committed her department to a strong rule on venting and flaring that cuts methane emissions and puts strong limits on wasting gas. This rule is good news for westerners, as it could ensure that American taxpayers don’t continue to lose a valuable resource, and lose out on potential revenue, due to outdated standards. Here’s what Secretary Jewell had to say about the rule during her speech:

“Interior will continue to do its part: In the coming months, we will also propose standards to cut methane emissions and wasted gas that result from venting and flaring during oil and gas operations…

[T]his powerful greenhouse gas is routinely released during energy development. In fact, above northern New Mexico, where there are more than 40,000 gas wells, satellite images show a methane gas plume the size of Delaware.

We will be updating our decades-old standards to encourage the kind of infrastructure and technology that companies I’ve met with in the Bakken and Permian basins have demonstrated can reduce harmful emissions and capture the natural gas as a source of energy and revenue for the American people.”

It’s important now that DOI sticks to their timeline and commitment to create a strong rule on methane emissions—it’s time for the American taxpayers to get their fair share.

You can read the full report here.

Join the effort to strengthen the American West.