North Dakota oil industry executive calls study linking flaring with respiratory health issues "non-scientific"

(Fargo, ND) -- The president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council is refuting a study which concludes that gas flaring in western North Dakota is causing heath problems for those who live near oil rigs. 

"This is a non-scientific study that does not take into account any of the factors of the regulators of the clean air in North Dakota. the Environmental Protection Agency, The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, both are continuously monitoring, continuously tracking. They are setting the standards for clean air in North Dakota. North Dakota as we know, and specifically these Baaken counties are amongst the cleanest air quality standards in the country," said Ron Ness.  

Ron Ness is referring to the study published last April by the Journal of Economics. Researchers concluded that thousands of hospital visits related to respiratory issues were caused by natural gas flared at oil wells. 

WDAY News First has an interview scheduled Monday, January 9th, with Wesley Blundell, one of the co-authors of the study.   

Original Air Date: 
Friday, January 6, 2023