Reason Number 42,659 For Putting a Price On Carbon

I don’t work in the oil and gas industry.  This lede from Bloomberg Environment (subscription required) may not be news to anyone in the industry, but it absolutely blew me away: America’s hottest oil patch is producing so much natural gas that by the end of last year producers were burning off more than enough of the fuel to meet residential demand across the whole of Texas. In short, oil companies are flaring more than 500 million cubic feet/day.  Apparently, that can’t even compete with some other countries.  Russia apparently flares almost 20 billion cubic meters/year. After stunned amazement, my next reaction was to wonder why any good engineer wouldn’t be horrified as such waste, even aside from the climate impacts.  Then I realized that engineers are practical people.  If there’s no economic cost to flaring, then it’s not waste to them. That’s why this is reason number 42,659 for putting a price on…

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