Saturday, November 26, 2022


An investigative probe into how rules written for distressed rust belt property may benefit a select few; Small Business Saturday highlights local Economies; FL nonprofit helps offset the high cost of insulin.


A Supreme Court case could have broad implications for the future of U.S. elections, results show voters rejected election deniers in many statewide races, and the concession phone call may be a thing of the past.


A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

Study: Oilfield Gas Flares More Harmful than Previously Thought


Tuesday, October 4, 2022   

A new study found gas flaring in oil-producing states like North Dakota is not as effective in limiting harmful emissions when compared to long-standing estimates.

Flaring involves burning off excess natural gas which accumulates during oil extraction. The emission in question, methane, has been found to be a more powerful pollutant than carbon dioxide.

The industry has long worked under the assumption flaring at oil and gas fields is 98% effective at reducing methane, but the study reported the rate is actually closer to 91%.

Linda Weiss, a Dakota Resource Council board member from Belfield, near the Bakken oil fields, said it confirms many of her fears.

"You can't see most of these gases," Weiss pointed out. "You don't know what long-term effects they'll have on the human body."

Health experts have said long-term exposure can result in a range of health problems, including heart and breathing issues, and environmental groups say methane is a huge driver of climate change.

The study's authors now believe flaring emits five times more methane in the U.S. than previously thought. State officials have argued infrastructure upgrades have led to a smaller percentage of gas being flared in North Dakota.

The study looked at operations in North Dakota and Texas.

Jon Goldstein, senior director of regulatory and legislative affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the two states are home to more than 80% of gas flaring in the U.S.

"So, those are two states that have a lot of flaring," Goldstein observed. "And that haven't done adequate measures at the state level to really curtail that practice."

He encouraged them to follow the leads of New Mexico and Colorado, which have been more aggressive in addressing the issue, including enhanced inspections.

Environmental groups hope the issue draws more attention as the Environmental Protection Agency considers tougher federal regulations.

Meanwhile, North Dakota officials said they inspect producing sites monthly and follow up to eliminate unlit flares, which, left unattended, can release unburned methane directly into the atmosphere.

Disclosure: The Environmental Defense Fund's Energy Transition Program contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
During open enrollment for 2022 coverage, Georgia saw a record number of individuals, more than 700,000, sign up for health insurance. ( Stock)

Health and Wellness

Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is already underway, and ends on Jan. 15. More than 1.3 million Georgians do …

Social Issues

Holiday shoppers this week have no shortage of options with Small Business Saturday being observed on Nov. 26. Sandwiched between Black Friday and …

Health and Wellness

The American Heart Association has developed a series of videos to educate women about heart disease. The Red Chair Series is a four-episode series …

Chris Powers stands in front of the Land Bank lot that he tried to bid on in Southern Ohio. (Eye on Ohio)

Social Issues

By Lucia Walinchus for Eye on Ohio.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Ohio News Connection Collaboration reporting for the Ohio Center for Invest…

Social Issues

While many Iowa families gather through this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving in traditional ways with food and family, thousands of people take to …

The EPA claims that the EES Coke Battery plant has emitted thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide annually beyond its permitted limit of 2,100 tons. (Wikipedia)


Members of a Detroit-area community are intervening in an Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit against a DTE Energy subsidiary charged with dumping…

Health and Wellness

A bill headed to President Joe Biden's desk addresses a long-standing problem for domestic violence survivors, ending their ties to their abusers' …


Oregon is home to a plethora of rivers, but those waterways are not always accessible to every community. A new video series highlights how …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021