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Northern Plains senators push bill to utilize U.S. natural gas

March 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 13 (UPI) -- North Dakota and Wyoming senators said a bill they've introduced will make it easier for energy companies to make use of natural gas deposits.

Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., introduced the Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act, which they said will make it easier to get permits for natural gas gathering lines on federal and tribal lines.

Natural gas gathering lines are used to send unprocessed natural gas from oil and gas wells to processing plants.

Barrasso said the bill was a win for state economies and for the environment.

"Our bill will reduce unnecessary flaring and help energy companies safely capture and sell more natural gas," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Enzi, for his part, said the pace at which federal permitting processes move meant key infrastructure was held up by unnecessary delays.

Northern Plains states rich in oil and deposits are forced to burn off, or flare, some of the natural gas associated with oil fields because they lack the infrastructure needed to utilize the reserves.

Hoeven, whose state is one of the nation's leading oil producers, said in a statement the bill would move the country "closer to our long-sought goal of true energy independence."

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