"WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Tuesday effectively reversed a regulation designed to prevent methane, one of the most powerful greenhouse gases, from escaping into the atmosphere during oil and gas operations.
In the long-expected move, the Interior Department finalized its new rule, replacing one proposed by former President Barack Obama in the final days of his administration, that would have reduced leaking, venting and flaring of methane from drilling activity on federal and tribal land. The new regulation essentially reinstates the approximately 30-year-old guidelines that were in place when President Trump won the 2016 election.
It’s the Trump administration’s fourth major environmental rollback effort this year, coming after a plan to weaken greenhouse gas rules for power plants, an end to a rule requiring cars to be cleaner and more efficient, and a separate measure making it easier for companies to avoid monitoring and repairing methane leaks. Together the rules effectively put an end to the United States’ most significant regulatory efforts to address global warming."