Inhofe Supports Delay of Methane Rule

WASHINGTON U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released the following statement following the decision by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to delay compliance dates for EPA’s oil and gas industry methane emissions standards, extending the 90-day administrative state of the New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas industries.

Our oil and gas industry was already voluntarily reducing its methane emissions, which went down 40 percent between 2006 and 2012 without any federal intervention; I applaud Administrator Pruitt for taking action to delay and review an unnecessary rule,” Inhofe said. “The methane rule has no environmental benefit and creates needless costs while hindering economic growth. Pruitt’s proposed delay is a yet another example of the Trump administration upholding its promise to rollback Obama-era regulations that were made with no concern for the law or the effect they may have on their stakeholders.”

Background

  • On May 12, 2016 Inhofe issued a statement following the Obama administration finalizing the 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 their new 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 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 senate EPW committee has yet to receive 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, Sen. Inhofe sent a letter to the Obama administration raising questions about its Methane Strategy White Papers, which formed the basis of today’s regulations. The administration has not sufficiently responded to this letter, nor has it conducted the requested review of existing regulations to determine how they might be relaxed to promote greater capture of methane emissions instead of issuing new regulations.