Wyoming Considering New Natural Gas Waste Rules
Wyoming is considering new rules that would limit the amount of methane companies are allowed to vent or burn at well sites.
The Cowboy State loses an estimated $42 million worth of natural gas every year through flaring, leaks and venting.
Hollis Hackman with the Wyoming School Boards Association says because education funding is tied to severance taxes on energy production, wasted gas means lost revenues for schools.
"The state constitution provides for these severance tax provisions, and that again is how we fund all of our state operations, including education," said Hackman. "We see it as a potential revenue source that's essentially going up in smoke."
Industry groups claim stricter requirements in parts of the state where gas lines are unavailable would hurt companies dealing with tumbling prices, but Hackman says the downturn's hit on the state budget is one more reason gas should be captured and brought to market and not wasted.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal Thursday in Casper.