Trump Moves to Roll Back Methane Controls

By Published On: August 29, 2019

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others blasted President Donald Trump for weakening rules to control leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

California’s senator called the proposed rollback, “incredibly irresponsible and wrong.”  Feinstein said she plans to challenge the move in the courts or with a Congressional resolution.

As expected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Aug. 29 that it planned to knock out the prior administration’s controls on methane leaks from oil and natural gas infrastructure.

“EPA’s proposal delivers on President Trump’s executive order and removes unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry,” said Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

EPA claimed the upcoming changes would save the industry millions of dollars in compliance costs annually, while “maintaining health and environmental regulations on oil and gas sources that the agency considers appropriate.”

Now is the time to tighten rules on these dangerous emissions, not loosen them,” Feinstein countered.

Chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) also criticized Trump’s plan to weaken methane emission controls.

Pallone said Thursday that many oil majors understand the dangers of methane leaks and support the existing federal controls. “Yet the Trump Administration is defying science, common sense and the express concerns of major industry players to disassemble critical public health and safety protections,” Pallone stated.

EPA’s weakening of the New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry includes removing sources in the transmission and storage segment of the oil and gas industry from regulation. It also would gut emissions limits for methane from the production and processing segments of the industry.

EPA is taking public comment on the proposal for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register: https://www.epa.gov/controlling-air-pollution-oil-and-natural-gas-industry.

–Elizabeth McCarthy

 

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