|A gas flare is seen at a natural gas processing facility near Williston, N.D. in 2015. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)|
The Washington Post's Chris Rooney reports:
The Interior Department on Tuesday finalized a much anticipated new regulation aimed at the oil and gas industry, one that seeks to capture flared natural gas and corral “fugitive” emissions of methane that are escaping drilling operations on public and Native American lands.
The agency argues that large volumes of gas are being lost through practices such as venting and flaring — burning off some of the gas as it arises from a well — as well as inadvertent leaks. And given that these fossil fuel resources are being gathered from public lands, the department says it’s incumbent on companies to take precautions not to lose them — especially since methane released into the atmosphere also worsens climate change. (Natural gas is mostly methane.)