Inhofe Applauds EPA Draft Rule to Replace Obama-Era Methane Rule

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released the following statement following the release by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler of a new draft rule to replace the Obama-era oil and gas industry methane emissions standards.

I applaud Administrator Wheeler for releasing the draft rule today which will replace the burdensome and unnecessary methane rule crafted by the Obama Administration. As I said when it was first proposed, the old methane rule had no environmental benefit and created needless costs while hindering economic growth. Methane emissions have continued to decrease by voluntary actions initiated by industry, all while oil and gas production has skyrocketed. With this kind of progress, why would regulation be necessary?

“I am proud of Administrator Wheeler and the EPA, under the direction of President Trump, for continuing to rollback Obama-era regulations that were made with little concern for the law or the effect they may have on our economy.”

Background

  • On June 14, 2017, Inhofe applauded the decision by the Trump administration to delay compliance dates for the Obama-era methane rule.
  • On May 12, 2016, Inhofe issued a statement following the Obama administration finalizing the old methane rule.
  • On April 13, 2016, Inhofe joined Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and John Barrasso (R-Wy.) in sending a letter to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Howard Shelanski on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule for waste prevention of methane emissions. 
  • On April 13, 2016, Inhofe joined Lankford in sending a letter to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Howard Shelanski on the EPA’s social cost of methane estimates in its proposed rule for methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
  • On March 10, 2016, Inhofe released a statement after the Obama administration announced a pact with Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, to reduce methane emissions from new and existing sources.
  • On Jan. 22, 2016, Inhofe released a statement after the Bureau of Land Management announcement proposing the Obama-era methane rule.
  • On Dec. 4, 2015, Inhofe sent a letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy raising concerns over EPA’s application of the social cost of the methane (SCM) in the EPA’s proposed rule for methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. 
  • On Nov. 20, 2015, Inhofe wrote to McCarthy requesting President Obama’s EPA extend the public comment period to allow adequate review of EPA’s proposed methane rule along with a similar rule proposed by the Bureau of Land Management.
  • On June 11, 2015, seven Senate EPW members sent a letter to President Obama regarding plans for regulating methane from the oil and gas sector, and specifically asked whether a social cost of methane estimate would be used in the expected rule. The committee never received a response. EPA released the proposed rule on August 18, and it was published in the Federal Register on September 18.  EPA requested comments on the rule as well as the social cost of methane estimates.
  • On Sept. 3, 2014, Inhofe sent a letter to the Obama administration raising questions about its Methane Strategy White Papers, which formed the basis of today’s action.