WASHINGTON – Sen. John Hoeven and two senators from Wyoming introduced federal legislation Wednesday that aims to reduce natural gas flaring.

The Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act seeks to expedite the permitting of natural gas gathering lines located on federal and Indian lands.

Hoeven, R-N.D., cited a recent report from the North Dakota Petroleum Council Flaring Task Force that said 40 percent of natural gas production is flared at oil wells on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, while 27 percent of natural gas production is flared at oil wells on state and private lands.

The bill would speed up the federal permitting process for certain natural gas gathering lines.

The bill states that it would not affect laws requiring the consent of Indian tribes or individual Indians prior to the issuance of rights-of-way on Indian land.

Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, both Republicans from Wyoming, joined Hoeven in introducing the legislation.

“Our legislation is a good example of how we can produce more energy with better environmental stewardship by empowering states and tribes to develop their energy resources,” Hoeven said. “It will create better environmental stewardship, and at the same time, move us closer to our long-sought goal of true energy independence.”