This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author.
Flaring of natural gas has become a target of environmental activists, who have tried to use it as another weapon in their attempts to ban the use of fossil fuels in the future.
In fact, the Sierra Club, which claims on its web page to be the largest and most powerful environmental organization, says that natural gas drilling and production damages the land, pollutes water and air, and causes illness in surrounding communities.
“If we can’t drill safely, then we shouldn’t be drilling at all,” the Sierra Club warns in its program Moving Beyond Fossil Fuels and Beyond Natural Gas. “Natural gas production is environmentally damaging and harms public health.”
On Feb. 18 the San Antonio Express-News ran a story attempting to show that flaring of natural gas is excessive and harmful.
However, the story – like allegations from the Sierra Club – picks only certain information that is frequently undocumented and lacks scientific credibility.
Natural gas producers do not want to flare gas. They have every reason – mainly financial – to sell it as soon as possible to increase cash flow. Oil and gas producers invest millions of dollars to drill and complete these high-tech wells. Their only source of income is from the product they sell. If they sell nothing by flaring gas, the receive nothing. Yet, the story never mentions this critical point.
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