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August 13, 2020

Inhofe Praises EPA Administrator Wheeler for Final Methane Rule

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, praised EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for finalizing new methane rules – finally replacing the unnecessary and burdensome Obama-era regulations on methane emissions standards.

 “These new rules are the right call—they provide clarity and appropriate oversight that follows the Clean Air Act without punishing regulations. The Obama-era methane rules were nothing more than a big government power grab. Why? Because they were unnecessary: they offered no environmental benefit as methane emissions are under ten percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and the oil and gas industry had already reduced methane emissions by more than 40 percent between 2006 and 2012 without any federal mandate. With these actions, the Trump administration is following through on yet another deregulatory action that will support American oil and gas workers and strengthen our energy independence.”


Background

  • On August 29, 2019, Inhofe applauded the EPA draft rule to replace the Obama-era methane rule
  • 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.

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