Oil Drillers' Burning of Natural Gas Costs U.S. Millions in Revenue
New report highlights loss to taxpayers from gas wasted on public land.
Oil companies burn off natural gas for several reasons: sometimes to prevent a dangerous buildup of methane at a drilling site, but more often because the companies do not have the equipment or the financial incentive to capture and sell it.
"Waste of the magnitude that's occurring through the flaring of natural gas during oil and gas development can't be overlooked," said Ross Lane of the WVP. "Inaction is not an option." (Related: "Space View of Natural Gas Flaring Darkened by Budget Woes.")
Besides examining how much taxpayers could be losing from gas flaring each year, the report highlights how little is known about the extent of the problem. The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a hearing on the