On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ended an Obama administration rule designed to reduce the amount of methane, a greenhouse gas, is produced by oil and natural gas drilling wells.
“EPA is continuing to follow through with President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order,” a statement by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt read.
A 90-day stay was issued by the EPA to rules that set equipment standards and employee certification in addition to halting rules aiming to limit methane leaks at drill sites. The stay comes as President Trump ordered the EPA to reconsider methane standards in March.
The review was ordered along with an executive order repealing some Obama administration regulations related to climate.
The Obama administration regulations were part of a federal government strategy to reduce methane. They were designed to cut 520,000 short tons of methane pollution by 2015 and have a compliance cost, according to the Obama EPA, of $530 million. Oil and natural gas drillers opposed the rule, stating it was too costly and duplicative of existing rules.
Environmental groups announced they intend to file suit over the methane rule change.
“We will fight Trump’s latest polluter giveaway in court,” the National Resource Defense Council announced.
Several states, including Oklahoma, whose former attorney general is now EPA administrator, had previously sued the Obama administration to stop implementing the rules.
[The Hill] [NRDC.org] [Photo courtesy VOA]