US Government Won't Look Into Gas and Oil Company Methane Emissions

US Government Won't Look Into Gas and Oil Company Methane Emissions

US Government Won't Look Into Gas and Oil Company Methane Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency has said it planned to scrap a rule that required operators of existing oil and gas wells to provide the agency extensive information about their equipment and methane emissions.

"The information request comprised of two parts: an "operator survey" that asked for basic information on the numbers and types of equipment at all onshore oil and gas production facilities in the US, and a "facility survey" asking for more detailed information on sources of methane emissions and emission control devices or practices in use by a representative sampling of facilities in several segments of the oil and gas industry". That information request was the agency's first step as it sought to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. The information request was finalized in November, sparking pushback from the industry.

As part of its ongoing drive to dismantle Obama-era legislations, the Trump administration is expected to soon roll back federal regulations set on pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, according to media reports.

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, gets released during the extraction process for oil and natural gas.

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The letter was signed by Paxton and the governors or attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia.

The decision, one of Pruitt's first since the Senate narrowly confirmed his nomination last month, underscores the former Oklahoma attorney general's deep, friendly ties to an industry he's now tasked with policing. In 2014, the New York Times reported that Pruitt accused the EPA of overestimating the quantity of methane emissions the oil and gas industry emits - claims he made by using a letter written by lawyers for a large oil and gas company.

Pruitt says that removing the reporting request signals that EPA under his leadership takes state concerns seriously and is "committed to strengthening our partnership with the states".

"The notion that EPA won't be collecting and monitoring data is cause for concern", Cullenward said.

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