Trump lifts Obama-era regulations on methane, a potent climate-warming gas

The Trump administration on Thursday weakened Obama-era regulations designed to reduce climate-warming methane gas emissions from oil and gas fields.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule, which has been in progress for over a year, would eliminate federal requirements for oil and gas companies to monitor and repair methane leaks from pipelines, storage facilities and wells.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the rollback to the 2016 rule at an event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home to the country’s booming natural gas reservoirs and a key battleground state for the November presidential election.

“EPA has been working hard to fulfill President Trump’s promise to cut burdensome and ineffective regulations for our domestic energy industry,” Wheeler said. “Regulatory burdens put into place by the Obama-Biden Administration fell heavily on small and medium-sized energy businesses.”

The methane pollution reversal is latest move by the administration to weaken a slew of environmental regulations, a longtime effort that has not been hindered by the coronavirus pandemic.


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