BISMARCK, N.D. — New legislation offers North Dakota oil drillers tax breaks beginning Monday if they stop burning and wasting natural gas.
The Republican-sponsored bills passed the Legislature this year. They offer oil companies tax incentives for capturing and using the byproduct of the state’s booming crude production.
Records show 275 million cubic feet of natural gas goes up in smoke each day in North Dakota, or enough to heat more than 1 million homes daily. Flaring also accounted for about 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in North Dakota last year. That’s about the same amount that 945,000 automobiles would emit.
About one-third of the state’s gas production is being burned off because development of the pipelines and processing facilities needed to handle it has not kept pace with production.