White House Outlines Proposal to Gut Obama-Era Rules on Methane Emissions

FILE -In this June 12, 2014 file photo, oil pumps and natural gas burn off in Watford City, N.D. The Interior Department says it is replacing an Obama-era regulation aimed at restricting harmful methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

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UPDATED 6:50 AM PT — Tues. February 13, 2018

The White House is repealing an Obama-era rule designed to reduce wasted methane coming from oil and gas drilling on federal lands.

The Interior Department’s bureau of land management said the U.S. needs smarter regulations in order to achieve energy dominance through responsible production methods.

The department said most of the requirements under the 2016 rule are overly burdensome, and were not effective in achieving their goals.

Lawmakers and industry leaders both agree the rules were stifling domestic energy production.

Marco Alvera, president of GasNaturally. (Photo/Balkan Magazine)

“There are number of cases where emissions have been reduced to very low levels, in some cases below one percent, and in some cases the question is whether the methane emissions coming from the industry are the problem or if the problems are other methane emissions,” explained Marco Alvera, president of the initiative created to showcase the essential role of natural gas, otherwise known as GasNaturally.

The new proposal by the administration would cut some of the regulations, while keeping some intact.

The government will continue measuring the gas released by drillers, while charging them for excessive emissions.