Alliance’s Statement on Venting and Flaring Court Decision
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance issued the following statement today regarding the denial of a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) venting and flaring rule by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming:
“Even though Judge Skavdahl did not grant a preliminary injunction, we’re confident about our chances during the proceedings on the full merits of the case,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president at the Alliance. “The venting and flaring rule oversteps BLM’s mandate from Congress by usurping Clean Air Act authority that resides only with the Environmental Protection Agency and the states.
“Oil and natural gas producers have significantly reduced methane emissions over the last quarter century in the absence of federal regulation. In fact, federal regulation in the form of delayed pipeline and gas gathering line permits often leads to producers having to flare methane for longer periods of time than would otherwise be necessary. While we’re disappointed that we didn’t convince the judge to stay the rule at this time, we remain confident that when he considers the full merits of the case he will agree this rule is unlawful federal overreach,” concluded Sgamma.
The Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) filed the lawsuit in November against BLM’s rule purporting to regulate waste from oil and natural gas operations on federal and tribal lands. The states of Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota similarly filed suits, which were consolidated with the industry case. The lawsuits now proceed to the full briefing stage. The judge has set an expedited hearing schedule, with the administrative record from the federal government due on February 21, 2017. Petitioners briefs are due 30 days after the record is lodged, with defense briefs due 20 days after that.