DENVER – Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) yesterday submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding the proposed rule on Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation. The associations urged the agency to implement targeted changes to portions of the proposed regulations on methane emissions that overstep the authority granted by Congress and reminded officials of the successful legal challenges to a similar rule in 2016.
“BLM can regulate waste of methane, but it does not have the authority to regulate air quality. The Clean Air Act gives that authority to EPA and the states, as affirmed by a federal court in striking down a similar rule from the Obama Administration. BLM makes some of the same mistakes in this rule as in the rule we successfully overturned,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance. “In collaboration with universities and regulators, our members continue to advance technologies such as remote sensing and airborne detection with satellites, aircraft, and drones to more quickly detect and fix methane leaks in the field. This continual innovation has enabled the American oil and natural gas industry to decrease methane emissions by 23% since 1990, even as oil and natural gas production have increased 49% and 71%, respectively.”
"This rule, which infringes on jurisdiction held by the EPA, is being hastily run through the process and impeding our ability to ascertain the true impact to our membership," said Jeff Eshelman, IPAA president and CEO. “IPAA believes the rule still contains a lot of ambiguity with Waste Minimization Plans, which could lead to problems issuing applications for permit to drill (APDs) as well as hidden costs that would greatly impact the small businesses we represent. This rule process has been poorly managed, and we hope the BLM recognizes some of the flaws in the rule as highlighted by our joint comments."
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