Flaring bill defeated

Feb 14, 2013

A bill designed to end the flaring of natural gas in western North Dakota has been defeated in the North Dakota Senate.

Currently, nearily a third of the natural gas produced by oil drilling in the Bakken is flared. Under current law, a company can flare the gas for a year without penalty – and may as for a waiver.  Sen. Tim Mathern (D-Fargo) wanted to eliminate any waivers.

"I thin k we're missing out on an economic opportunity," Mathern told his Senate colleagues. "We're being wasteful of the environment, we're being wasteful of energy and the resources before us."

But Sen. Bill Bowman (R-Bowman) says companies are waiting for the pipeline infrastructure to catch up – and they want to make a profit off the gas.

"We've got to have a little patience," said Bowman. "It does take a lot of time for these things to hapen. But it is happening."

The measure failed 34-13.