Wyo. nixes petition on flaring, oil and gas setbacks – Energy Wire

Wyo. nixes petition on flaring, oil and gas setbacks

Wyoming’s top energy regulator voted Tuesday to throw out a petition requesting tighter rules for natural gas flaring and “setbacks,” the minimum distance between homes and drilling operations.

The state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said the landowners’ petition filed last year was unnecessary in light of a recent statewide review of oil and gas regulations (EnergyWire, April 21).

Gov. Matt Mead (R), a member of the commission, called the decision “appropriate.”

“We want to look at these very things,” he said. “We have setbacks. We have flaring. We want to take them one at a time because they are complex.”

The state has agreed to first weigh changes to setbacks between residences and oil and gas wells, now set at 350 feet.

Jill Morrison, an organizer at the Powder River Basin Resource Council, which filed the petition, said the group will pressure oil companies to move individual wells farther from homes and businesses while the state conducts its review.

“We can’t wait. We’ve already waited a year. They are still permitting [wells],” she said (Benjamin Storrow,Casper [Wyo.] Star-Tribune, May 13). — BS

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