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Via the New York Times:

Viewed from outer space, the 1,500 blazing oil well flares burning off excess natural gas illuminate the plains of western North Dakota more brilliantly than Minneapolis hundreds of miles away.
The gas being burned in the Bakken field is a byproduct of a frenzy of oil drilling in isolated areas where there are too few gas-gathering lines and few limits on drilling. In total, the excess gas could heat a million homes, releasing roughly six million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year — roughly equivalent to three medium-size coal-fired power plants.
That level of emissions is three times as great as only two years ago, outraging environmentalists, encouraging landowners to sue oil companies and prompting lawmakers to push for tighter regulations.

Via the New York Times:

Viewed from outer space, the 1,500 blazing oil well flares burning off excess natural gas illuminate the plains of western North Dakota more brilliantly than Minneapolis hundreds of miles away.

The gas being burned in the Bakken field is a byproduct of a frenzy of oil drilling in isolated areas where there are too few gas-gathering lines and few limits on drilling. In total, the excess gas could heat a million homes, releasing roughly six million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year — roughly equivalent to three medium-size coal-fired power plants.

That level of emissions is three times as great as only two years ago, outraging environmentalists, encouraging landowners to sue oil companies and prompting lawmakers to push for tighter regulations.