Trump Admin Formally Rolls Back Rule For Limiting Methane Pollution

"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."

Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times September 18, 2018.


"More Methane: Interior Eases Rules Curbing Leaks From Oil And Gas Leases On Federal Land" (Washington Post)

"Trump Rolls Back Pollution Rules For Drilling on US Lands" (AP)

"Public Lands: BLM To Lock In Methane Rule Revision" (Greenwire)

"California, New Mexico Sue Trump for Axing Methane-Waste Rules" (Bloomberg)

Source: NY Times, 09/19/2018