Natural Gas Flaring Burns Away Wyoming Cash

Natural gas goes up in flames every day in Wyoming during a process called “flaring.” Those are the flames seen commonly at oil drilling sites, where the natural gas is a by-product.

According to the Wyoming News Service, the Wyoming Outdoor Council has issued a report calling for a reduction of the practice because it causes pollution and wastes the resource.

The group’s Amber Wilson says there are good reasons to flare, such as for safety, but because all flaring is exempted from severance and royalty taxes, it happens more often than it should.

The report calls on the D-E-Q, Legislature and Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to help guide companies to scale back on burning natural gas. Natural gas prices are low, and that’s one reason why drillers just burn it away. But another reason is that they don’t have access to pipelines for it.

Wilson says the state could work with companies to improve the pipeline grid.

Wyoming's Governor Matt Mead mentioned concerns about flaring in last year's Energy Strategy proposal.

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