Fuel Intentions: American industry wastes insane amounts of gas by burning it off. It doesn’t have to.

By Daniel Gross, Slate.

What if we just stopped wasting, pissing away, burning, and flushing precious resources? Wouldn’t that contribute significantly to sustainability? The early returns from California’s belated response to its water crisis show that great leaps in conservation are possible with comparatively little upfront investment—and without killing the economy or immiserating residents unduly. In July, city-dwelling Californians used 31 percent less water than they did in July 2013, exceeding the 25 percent reduction target the state had set

Now what if we were to adapt the same mentality toward another domestic resource?

While not quite as cheap and plentiful as water, gas is sufficiently cheap and plentiful that American industry squanders it on a regular basis. Various forms of gas are byproducts of a host of industrial processes: Oil production spurs the creation of natural gas; decomposing garbage in landfills produces methane; wastewater treatment plants produce biogas. And we routinely waste it.