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The Fracking Industry’s Flaring Problem May Be Worse Than We Thought

In 2018, the oil and gas industry operating in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale burned off record amounts of natural gas, largely obtained via hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This process, known as flaring, costs the industry money — it literally burns one of the products being pumped out of the ground — but more importantly, the resulting release of globe-warming emissions of carbon dioxide and methane spells disaster for the climate. And a new analysis of satellite evidence indicates the industry is likely underreporting how much gas it is actually flaring in the Permian Shale, with implications for other oil fields.  According to the Bismarck Tribune, the amount of gas flared in North Dakota in October was enough to heat 4.25 million homes in America. And while the fracking industry in North Dakota is flaring the most gas in the nation, it's not the only place this is a growing issue. Flaring reportedly also doubled in 2018 in the booming Permian Shale in Texas and New Mexico, with an estimated $1 million a day of gas burned off.  Read more...

 

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