Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Industry Awaits Legislators’ Next Move Regarding Emissions

With President Donald Trump in the White House, regulations are in the crosshairs with requirements concerning methane emissions, venting and flaring in the oil and gas industry among the primary environmental targets. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 2 said it withdrew a mandate that required oil and gas companies to report their methane emissions. The directive was issued in 2016 to help the EPA determine how to best reduce methane and other emissions from existing sources. The possibility of undoing some regulations put in place by the Obama administration, which put clean energy and fighting climate change among the nation’s priorities, has industry groups pushing hard for change. But it also has environmental groups on edge. Among the regulations that could be axed is the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) waste prevention rule, also known as the venting and flaring rule, for oil and gas production sites on federal and Indian land. Most oil and gas production occurs on state and private land. The law, which took effect in January, requires operators to take various actions to reduce waste of gas such as limiting routine flaring and using equipment to detect leaks among other requirements. It also establishes criteria for when flared gas qualifies as waste and when it is subject to royalties...more

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