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Updated PNS Daily Newscast - September, 22 2017 


The news we're following on today's rundown: Facebook turns over Russia-linked ads to Congress; how Senate Republicans’ new health-care bill could hurt the fight against the opioid epidemic; and Texas food banks prepare to serve the long-term needs of Harvey victims.

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Rollback of Anti-Flaring Rules Has Veterans and Conservation Groups Fuming

Gas flares are a result of leaking natural gas as companies mine for fossil fuels. (WildEarth Guardians)
Gas flares are a result of leaking natural gas as companies mine for fossil fuels. (WildEarth Guardians)
May 1, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The United States frequently looks to the Middle East and political allies for oil and gas, but there is a way to capture more fuel in this country by implementing a simple regulation.

A byproduct of oil and gas drilling is wasted gas. Congress now is considering a bill that would overturn the rule that requires oil and gas companies to capture natural gas waste instead of venting or flaring it.

In a letter to lawmakes, Vet Voice Foundation said reducing waste from what are already limited resources impacts soldiers fighting overseas. General Paul Eaton, managing director at the foundation, said it's about showing respect to service members deployed around the world.

"How can we ask our soldiers to put their lives on the line, especially in the energy-producing countries in the Middle East, if every day we allow oil and gas companies at home to waste - by just blowing this stuff into the atmosphere or flaring it - the very resources we're asking them to defend?” Eaton argued.

The U.S. House already voted to roll back the measures, but the effort is stalled in the Senate.

Those who support overturning the rules have said that requiring companies to capture natural gas flares is a costly burden for energy companies. But according to the national Office of Natural Resources Revenue, between 2009 and 2015, federal and tribal lessees reported having vented enough gas to supply energy to more than 6 million households a year.

Eaton said when you look at the financial value of what's being leaked into the air, it puts the debate in perspective.

"What we're talking about is important. It's $800 million important,” he said. "I would ask that every American take a long hard look at what we're doing to make sure that we, the American taxpayer, are benefiting from harvesting a valuable resource."

Tennessee’s Republican Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker will face a vote in the U.S. Senate on overturning the rules in the coming weeks.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN