Native Sun News: North Dakota tribal members vent about fracking

This oil rig on the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation demonstrates how flaring on federal and Indian lands from 2009 to 2014 was responsible for the loss of enough gas to meet the demand of about 5.1 million households for a year. Photo by Talli Nauman

Indians seize feds’ offer to vent about gas flaring on tribal lands
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News
Health & Environment Editor

MANDAREE, N.D. –– While members of Ft. Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights, or POWER, prepared to testify at a March 3 hearing about gas flaring in oil fracking operations on federal and tribal lands, they urged the public to send comments to strengthen regulations.

The hearing tops off a series of four that the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, has scheduled across Indian country because it is “proposing new regulations to reduce waste of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas production activities on onshore federal and Indian leases.”

The grassroots non-profit POWER told the Native Sun News that “as tribal residents of rural Mandaree on Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation, we support the proposed BLM methane flaring and venting reduction language.”

However, the group said in a Feb. 23 written statement, the proposal would continue to allow the current practice of exempting oil companies from paying royalties to individual tribal mineral owners and tribal governments for flared gas anytime an operator claims it is forced to halt production to comply with rules.

“The federal government, through BLM, has been subsidizing the oil industry through royalty-free natural gas flaring,” it said. “That practice must end.”

Mandaree is the segment of the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation known for extracting the most frack oil in the Bakken Formation.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Indians seize feds’ offer to vent about gas flaring on tribal lands

(Contact Talli Nauman, Health and Environment Editor for NSN at

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