In 2019, oil and gas companies operating on tribal and federal lands lost $63 million in revenue from venting, flaring, and leaking infrastructure. That loss, according to a report from the Environmental Defense Fund and Taxpayers for Common Sense, shows that Indigenous nations lost the most potential royalty revenue: approximately $21.8 million. Researchers say that total loss across all lands represents enough natural gas to power 2.2 million households for a year — almost every home in New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming combined. However, those numbers are likely much higher: researchers did not include emissions from Alaska, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, or Indiana.
Gas is wasted when it is released directly into the atmosphere through venting, or burned at the site of extraction by flaring, or when it leaks from aging or ill-fitting infrastructure. As a potent greenhouse gas with warming power 80-times that of carbon dioxide, methane is often released with additional air pollutants. Those emissions contribute heavily to climate change and poor healthcare outcomes for local communities. ... Read more