Legislation is headed to Gov. Jack Dalrymple that offers North Dakota oil drillers tax breaks to stop the intentional practice of burning and wasting natural gas.
But critics believe the Republican-sponsored bills will do little or nothing to significantly stop the problem.
Lawmakers have passed a pair of bills that give tax breaks to companies if natural gas is collected and used for agricultural, industrial and railroad purposes. Projects that also convert natural gas to such things as farm fertilizer or electricity also would be given incentives.
More than 30 percent of the state's gas production is being burned off because development of the pipelines and processing facilities needed to handle it has not kept pace with production.