U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced the Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act. The legislation expedites the permitting of natural gas gathering lines located on Federal land and Indian land.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the states with the highest amounts of natural gas flaring and venting are North Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. The siting of natural gas gathering lines on Federal land and Indian land is an especially difficult challenge in Wyoming and North Dakota.

Natural gas gathering lines are pipelines that ship unprocessed natural gas from oil and gas wells to natural gas processing plants which separate the gasses (e.g., methane, ethane, propane) from one another. Once processed, the various gases are shipped along interstate natural gas pipelines to market.

Barrasso said the bill will "reduce unnecessary flaring and help energy companies safely capture and sell more natural gas." Enzi added that "abundant, low-cost energy shouldn’t have to wait on the federal government for approval, but that’s often what happens when we lose natural gas to flaring on account of delays in permitting infrastructure improvements."