“The amount of natural gas that oil companies burn off in Texas as a waste product could power every home in the state. It’s an industry practice known as flaring, and as it grows, so do pollution and waste associated with oil extraction. So last week, a top state oil and gas regulator produced a report on it.
The Railroad Commission of Texas regulates the oil and gas industry in the state. It's run by three commissioners who are elected statewide. Commissioner Ryan Sitton wrote that he produced the paper “to evaluate the nature of potential changes to regulation [around flaring] and the potential impacts of those changes.”
The report was notable for naming names. Sitton ranked oil producers by how much they flare. It also provides some historical context for flaring. The commissioner also argued the state is actually flaring less than it did decades ago.”