Avoiding waste is common sense. But the Bureau of Land Management is happy to make an exception for waste when it comes to the oil and gas industry drilling on public lands.
There are currently rules that curb methane waste on public lands. Flaring and leaks must be monitored to prevent wasted resources and pointless pollution. But the BLM is now trying to delay these protections for a year. Why? Because corporate interests are more important to them than clean air and livable communities.
Five years ago, a family member of mine started work in Williston, North Dakota, as a natural gas technician. After several months on the job, there was one thing that didn’t sit well with him: the insane amount of energy wasted through flaring. Even after considerable time in the industry he still sees it as a problem.
This problem has a solution. Montana must hold the BLM to a standard that protects our health and prevents the thoughtless waste of our taxes. If the BLM allows this methane waste without any consequences, taxpayers could lose out on $800 million in lost royalties over the next decade. The BLM is taking comments on its proposal through Nov. 6.