Trump admin slows methane rules opposed by oil, gas industry

Geronimo Vena
Giugno 16, 2017

So the Trump administration chose to take the initiative and hit the brakes, delaying for two years implementation of one of the most hotly contested environmental measures devised by the Obama White House - a pair of rules meant to limit methane emissions by oil and gas operations.

The BLM says in a Federal Register notice that will be published today that it is postponing provisions requirements that companies were to have complied with starting January 17 of next year.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) filed notice today (June 15) to postpone implementation of the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. BLM is now using this ongoing litigation, under the Administrative Procedures Act, to support its decision to postpone the rule's compliance dates. So did the U.S. Senate.

Robin Cooley, an attorney with Earthjustice, said in a news release about the BLM rule delay, "Once again the Trump administration is taking its marching orders from the oil and gas industry with no concern for public health and the environment".

The Environmental Protection Agency said it is seeking a two-year delay for oil and gas companies to follow a new rule requiring them to monitor and reduce methane leaks from their facilities. Methane regulations are common-sense, cost-effective standards that reduce pollution while saving money.

Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, praised the Trump administration for responding to companies' concerns "about having to comply with rules that are likely to be overturned in court or changed significantly through the rulemaking process". The alliance and other oil industry groups challenged the methane regulations in court. "The Trump administration is correcting that overreach from the prior administration, thereby saving jobs and supporting American energy independence". It's the first such rule in the nation.

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