Oil and gas wells vent or flare off natural gas. New technology shows that this is actually a lot more gas than anyone knew — about four percent of production, according to GAO. Capturing that natural gas for sale would give the government millions of dollars in royalties. Vented gas is methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than the CO2 which would be emitted if the gas were captured and burned. If captured, gas that is currently flared could be sold, replacing part of current natural gas production and reducing greenhouse gases. The reduction would be the equivalent of taking three million cars off the road. It could actually make money for the oil companies too, TNR reports. What’s not to like?
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