A statewide radio and digital video advertising campaign launched today by Dakota Resource Council (DRC), shines a light on the economic and health impacts of oil and gas waste and pollution, and calls on President Biden to strengthen federal rules to eliminate routine flaring. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are finalizing rules that could benefit North Dakota’s economy, public health, and air quality.
The campaign features DRC members calling for a fair return on production on tribal lands and protection of the health of their communities.
“Fort Berthold Reservation, where my family and I live, is where the most flaring occurs in North Dakota,” said Representative Lisa Finley-DeVille, ND(4a) a DRC and Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights (POWER) board member. “Right now we are poisoned by the toxins in flares, and we are losing out on royalties from flared gas. BLM and EPA must eliminate waste and pollution from routine venting and flaring to protect impacted communities like mine because my state and my tribal government are not protecting us.”
When methane is vented or flared, taxpayers and communities suffer. North Dakota lost $43 million in potential tax and royalty payments in one year (2019), of which, the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation) alone lost approximately $19 million.
The MHA Nation faces disproportionate health impacts from flaring. One study found that every 1% increase in flared gas increases hospitalization rates by 0.73%. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is flared alongside ozone-forming volatile organic compounds and hazardous pollutants that have significant public health impacts.
BLM’s must set clear standards to eliminate waste from routine venting flaring and EPA must eliminate pollution from routine flaring.
“President Biden should direct EPA and BLM to use their respective authorities to eliminate methane waste and pollution from flaring, protecting public resources, taxpayers, mineral owners, and our energy security,” said Delvin Rabbithead, Sr., President FB POWER.