US calls for rescinding rules on oil industry methane leaks
Published 8:11 am Friday, August 30, 2019
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration moved Thursday to revoke Obama-era regulations on climate-changing methane leaks from oil facilities, a proposal that environmental advocates said would renounce key federal legal authority to regulate the gas’s outsize damage to the climate.
The proposed rule follows President Donald Trump’s directions to remove “unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.
Exxon Mobil and some other oil giants — wary of blowback from growing public concern over global warming — joined environmental groups in urging the Trump administration to drop the rollback on methane controls, although several state-level and national industry groups welcomed the easing.
Email newsletter signup
The step would be the latest in a series unwinding the Obama administration’s efforts to cut climate-changing emissions from the oil, gas and coal industries, including a 2016 rule regulating oil-industry methane leaks as a pollutant under the federal Clean Air Act.
Trump has pushed to open vast expanses of U.S. wilderness and coastline to oil and gas drilling, speed construction of petroleum pipelines and ease regulations on the industry, dismissing calls from scientists in and out of government for rapid cuts in oil, gas and coal emissions to stave off the worst of climate change.