Bureau of Land Management Catching Up

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 11:07 AM

In January, the Bureau of Land Management crafted a proposal to regulate the waste produced by gas and oil facilities on federal and tribal land. In this proposal, measures include curbing gas venting, restricting flaring, and upgrading and regularly maintaining equipment used at these facilities. Thus far, according to an article by Jon Goldstein at the Environmental Defense Fund, the public has been strongly supportive of the proposal.



Unfortunately, there is still opposition. The operators of these industries have stated that since oil has been at a low price, they won't be able to afford the extra cost these measures may put in place. Some have even pushed the blame for excess emissions back to the BLM for the long bureaucratic process involved in approving the gathering and storage of gas. 

Still, supporters are vocal about their relief that these measures are arising. Mike Eisenfeld of the San Juan Citizens Alliance states:  

"It is timely that (the) BLM finally acknowledges its responsibility to participate in analyzing and reducing air emissions from the hundreds of oil and gas projects (the agency approves) yearly in the San Juan Basin. Capturing the currently wasted methane from BLM-permitted oil and gas facilities will potentially reduce the 2,500-square-mile methane 'hot spot' in the Four Corners region."

According to EDF's Goldstein, a major reason for the apparent overwhelming support from the public sector is that "Westerners understand that wasting our natural gas through venting, flaring and leaks not only pollutes our air and damages our climate; it shortchanges taxpayers by millions of dollars each year."  

As far as the environment is concerned, this proposal is an important step because federal regulations could begin to set the bar for improved environmental standards like these all across the nation. 

Learn more at http://methaneeducation.weebly.com/

References:
January EDF Article
Follow-up EDF Article and Image Source
Industry-Environmental Split


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