Delay of Compliance Dates Welcomed as EPA and BLM Review Methane Rules

June 14, 2017

DENVER - Western Energy Alliance thanks Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt for today’s notices delaying compliance dates for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and EPA methane rules. Both rules represent vast overreach by the prior administration and are being reconsidered by the agencies. Western Energy Alliance has challenged both rules in court.

“Western Energy Alliance is pleased that EPA and the Interior Department have listened to the concerns of companies about having to comply with rules that are likely to be overturned in court or changed significantly through the rulemaking process,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance. “We as a society learned with EPA’s mercury rule that forcing companies to comply with rules that are ultimately overturned because they exceed the government’s authority kills jobs and economic growth needlessly. The Trump Administration is correcting that overreach from the prior administration, thereby saving jobs and supporting American energy independence.

“Both rules vastly exceeded federal authority. In the case of the BLM rule, the Bureau tried to assume authority that resides with the states and EPA to regulate air quality. In the case of the EPA rule, the agency attempted to regulate methane without conducting a methane endangerment finding, as required by the Clean Air Act. The actions today by the agencies are a first step to correcting that federal regulatory overreach.

“Even though the compliance dates are postponed, industry will continue to increase methane capture rates as it has for the past three decades. Companies have reduced methane emissions by 19% even while increasing natural gas production by 52%. We achieved that success by technological innovation, without federal regulation,” added Sgamma.

For more information about the EPA and BLM methane rules, please visit the Alliance’s website at www.westernenergyalliance.org