Bill would ban oil companies’ wasteful and hazardous natural gas venting and flaring


Washington (November 7, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today reintroduced legislation to protect consumers and the climate from the wasteful practice of burning or venting natural gas emanating from oil and gas drilling on federal lands. The Fuel Loss Abatement and Royalty Enhancement (FLARE) Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to issue regulations to ban the flaring of natural gas on public land both onshore and offshore to conserve this resource that oil companies are currently treating as waste. The practice of flaring is becoming increasingly prevalent on federal lands and is costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Methane is also a global warming pollutant around 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, so banning this practice would help address the climate crisis. This practice has only gotten worse across the industry in recent years—last year, gas operators in the Eagle Ford, Permian, and Bakken basins vented or flared a record-high 320 million cubic feet of gas.


“Oil and gas companies are harming consumers and the planet by wasting natural gas when drilling on public lands,” said Senator Markey, who first introduced the FLARE Act in the House of Representatives. “Taxpayers should be compensated for the loss of this valuable natural resource on public lands, and the oil and gas industry energy should end this practice that pollutes and fuels the climate crisis.”


A copy of the FLARE Act can be found HERE


The FLARE Act would require oil companies to pay royalties to the American people on vented or flared natural gas on public lands. The legislation also would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress on how much natural gas is being vented or flared.