STATEMENT: North Dakota Should Support Final BLM Methane Waste and Prevention Rule

Nov. 15, 2016

STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BISMARCK – Today, the Interior Department released final rules to reduce flaring, venting, and emissions from oil and gas development. Dakota Resource Council affiliate, Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights (P.O.W.E.R.) have been pushing for stronger rules to restrict flaring on federal and tribal lands and reduce the wasteful and harmful release of natural gas into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations.

According to an announcement from the Interior Department that covers the updates in-depth, the rule “updates 30-year old regulations governing venting, flaring, and leaks of natural gas, and will help curb waste of public resources, reduce harmful methane emissions, and provide a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers, tribes and states.” As one of the largest natural gas producers in the world, the amount of waste from venting, flaring, and leaks are staggering – enough natural gas was lost between 2009-15 to serve more than 6 million households for a year. In addition to recovering lost revenues to states, tribes, and federal taxpayers, reducing the negative impacts to public health are an important part of the final rule.

Lisa DeVille, president of Fort Berthold P.O.W.E.R., released this statement:

“Fort Berthold P.O.W.E.R. lauds the Bureau of Land Management as well as the Obama Administration for releasing the methane rules. The rules will ensure that natural gas is no longer wasted and that tribal mineral owners are compensated for this one-time harvest. The rules will also ensure that air quality will improve on and around Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. We are in the heart of the Bakken, and now is the time to limit what is being flared, vented, and leaked into the atmosphere. Dakota Resource Council and Fort Berthold P.O.W.E.R. are calling on our State Administration to enforce and accept these needed standards so North Dakota’s natural resources are no longer wasted.”

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