Jewell: More needs to be done to capture natural gas from the Bakken

Aug 7, 2013

The new federal Secretary of the Interior says it’s very important that industry, the federal government and the state government work together to make sure energy development in North Dakota is done well – and done with a sensitivity to environmental concerns.

Sally Jewell toured western North Dakota oil fields, as well as the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

“North Dakota is at the epicenter of the complexity that we face around energy developmen, rapid economic development and long-term, thoughtful management of tthe resources,” Jewell told reporters in Dickinson. She says one thing she's concerned about is the amount of natural gas that's being flared in the Bakken.

"It is money going up in smoke," said Jewell. "It is emissions going up into the atmosphere that we don't want to see."

Jewell says while it fits President Obama's "all-of-the above" energy strategy, it needs to be less impactful to the environment.

"The state's aware of that," said Jewell. "The communities are feeling that. Pipelines are essential to gather the gas and reduce truck and train traffic. But the challenge is -- the rights of way run across private land."

Jewell says she is impressed with companies such as Statoil, who have begun to reduce natural gas flaring. She also says she's willing to work with states like North Dakota to come up with common-sense regulations.

Jewell toured the Bakken and Theodore Roosevelt National Park while in North Dakota.