Methane Rule for Oil and Gas Drilling Goes Into Effect, EPA Delay Struck Down by Court
A federal court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must begin enforcing a rule limiting oil and gas drilling methane pollution.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Monday that Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, overstepped his authority in trying to delay implementation of a 2016 rule requiring oil and gas companies to monitor and reduce methane leaks, saying the EPA didn’t meet the requirements for a 90-day stay of the Obama administration’s methane rule.
Pruitt's decision to delay enforcement stemmed from arguments that when the rule was written it violated procedures because stakeholders were not allowed to comment on the final rule.
The court on Monday countered with notes from the administrative record, which "makes clear that industry groups had ample opportunity" for comments.
An EPA spokesperson said Monday afternoon that the agency is reviewing the court's ruling and will decide whether to challenge it.
A proposal by the EPA to delay implementation of the methane rule for two years while it decides whether to formally repeal the rule remains in effect, but the court decision instructs the EPA to begin enforcement of the rule immediately,
By Mike Shiloh
Copyright July 03, 2017, Mike Shiloh, Texas Energy Report LLC, www.texasenergyreport.com, All rights are reserved