Industry exec fires back after report critical of gas flaring in North Dakota

(Fargo, ND) -- The head of the North Dakota Petroleum Council is responding to a report that the state's gas flaring rates is 7 times higher than the next closest state. 

"I'm very proud of what we've done We still have the cleanest air, the cleanest water. You look at the Bakken and compare it to any other oil field and it's farmland with a little bit of energy on it. I contend that the Bakken is the cleanest barrel of oil in the world Scott, and these stories should be taken for what they are and nothing more," said NDPC President Ron Ness, while speaking with host Scott Hennen during an appearance on "What's on Your Mind".      

Ness says the report is based on data from a study commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund and not studies performed by state regulators. Ness says the current gas capture rate in the state is around 96 percent, and says that represents a significant improvement from levels attained over the past few years.

"I don't take my news from the Environmental Defense Fund. They're certainly able to hirer the consultants they want. I think their process of determining this and their assessment in doing this is always a question. They weren't on the site where the regulators are at. They likely did a flyover of some type which they do in these studies," said Ness.