Texas as early as this fall could tighten some rules for the controversial practice of natural gas flaring, the head of the state’s regulatory commission said on Tuesday.

The practice of burning off unwanted natural gas produced alongside more profitable oil has become a top issue for both environmentalists and investors, who are focused on sustainability measures and are already frustrated by a decade of poor financial returns in oil and gas. Flaring has surged with U.S. oil output, but can worsen climate change by releasing carbon dioxide.

Recommendations from an industry panel, provided to state regulators at a meeting on Tuesday, included reducing to 90 from 180 the number of days producers can routinely burn unwanted gas without going to the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s regulator, for a hearing.

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Source: Reuters

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