"...Texas regulators have come under pressure from environmentalists and some larger oil producers for allowing the industry to burn off gas at record levels in the Permian. While safer and cleaner than letting methane vent unchecked into the air, flaring produces carbon dioxide and wastes a useful resource. Opponents say producers should not be allowed to flare at will, and should not be allowed to drill wells unless they have a plan for their gas.
The Texas Railroad Commission says the increased flaring is primarily a result of surging crude production in the basin. The amount of gas flared as a portion of total production in Texas is much lower than other major oil producers such as Russia or states like North Dakota, Sitton said last week."