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Letter: It's time the Three Affiliated Tribes support strong methane regulations

DeVille writes, "Even the oil and gas industry realizes the need to stop this wasteful, polluting practice. Exxon Mobil committed to stop routine flaring across the Permian Basin by the end of this year, and the World Bank has set a goal to end flaring worldwide by 2030."

Lisa DeVille Photo by Jay Brousseau.jpg
Lisa DeVille is DeVille, Mandaree, N.D., is a member of Fort Berthold POWER and the Dakota Resource Council. Photo by Jay Brousseau.

The Three Affiliated Tribes should support strong methane regulations. Methane, the main component of natural gas, is a powerful greenhouse gas and the primary contributor to ground-level ozone formation — a hazardous air pollutant. According to Rystad Energy , oil and gas operations in North Dakota flare about 7.1% of natural gas. That is more than 7 times that of New Mexico, the state with the second-highest rate of flaring at 1%.

Routine venting and flaring wastes a sellable, usable product eliminating tax and royalty revenue for me, my tribe, and my neighbors. As TAT Chairman Mark Fox said in a Howard Center for Investigative Journalism GASLIT article , “If it's been flared and it's being burned — it's being wasted.” The emissions, due to routine venting and flaring, can be eliminated by implementing strong rules that utilize cost-effective tools and technologies.

The US Energy Information Administration’s Natural Gas Annual shows that the Bakken Play accounts for 93% of all crude oil and 98% of all the natural gas produced in North Dakota. My family and I live in the heart of the Bakken and are impacted by the huge number of flares and vents near to where we live, work, play and raise our children. We and our tribe lose out on tax revenue and royalty payments. We are immediately impacted by polluted air, water and soil and also impacted by climate change, which is made worse by flaring and venting.

Even the oil and gas industry realizes the need to stop this wasteful, polluting practice. Exxon Mobil committed to stop routine flaring across the Permian Basin by the end of this year, and the World Bank has set a goal to end flaring worldwide by 2030. It is time my tribal government gets behind eliminating routine venting and flaring.

Lisa DeVille, Mandaree, N.D., is the founder of Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights (POWER) and a member of the Dakota Resource Council.

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