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Briefcase: Natural Gas Flaring

With guest Professor Bret Wells.


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Natural gas discoveries are often a consequence of drilling for oil. Natural gas is often burned or flared impacting energy production and the neighboring community. Professor Bret Wells, with the University of Houston Law Center, teaches oil and gas law and claims these flares occurring are more often.

"With the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the Permian Basin accounts for over 40% of all U.S. oil and gas production," Professor Wells said. "In the rush to bring crude oil to market, oil is produced before natural gas pipeline connections can be made."

"Flaring represents a permanent loss of a finite natural resource, creates light pollution that negatively impacts the McDonald's Observatory, and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions," Wells continued. "The industry and impacted parties will need to monitor how these issues are regulated."