Texas agency seeks to decrease industrial flaring

HOUSTON — A Texas agency is launching an initiative designed to reduce industrial flaring, a major source of air pollution.

David Porter, a commissioner with the Texas Railroad Commission, says in a statement Wednesday the goal is to ensure that current rules are being followed. The agency also wants regulations to keep up with the oil and gas drilling boom set off by new technologies that allow companies to extract once out-of-reach oil and gas and for industry to use the most modern and efficient equipment, ensuring flaring is a last resort.

Industries use “flaring” to burn off excess gases. This helps prevent a buildup that could cause an explosion, but also pollutes the air. Newer technologies allow industry to either reuse the gases or divert them elsewhere without burning them off.