Didn’t take Scott Pruitt long to act on a request by Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and 10 others to put an end to the 4-month old EPA methane regulation adopted by the Obama Administration against the oil and gas industry.
On Thursday, one day after getting a letter from Hunter and the other attorneys general, Pruitt announced the rule will be yanked. It means thousands of oil and gas companies will not have to report detailed technical information about their operations’ methane emissions.
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is withdrawing its request,” announced the agency. “The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators—including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information—are no longer required to respond.”
The agency said Pruitt would like to assess the need for the information that the agency was collecting through the requests.
“By taking this step, EPA is signaling that we take these concerns seriously and are committed to strengthening our partnership with the states,” said Pruitt. “Today’s action will reduce our burdens on businesses while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry.”
Shortly after the Obama administration implemented the methane rule last fall, the EPA sent letters to more than 15,000 owners and operators in the oil and gas industry, requiring them to provide information. It included an “operator survey” that asked for basic information on the numbers and types of equipment and at all onshore oil and gas operations in the U.S. The second part was a “facility survey” which asked for more detailed information on sources of methane emissions and emission control devices or practices in use by a representative sampling of facilities in several segments of the oil and gas industry.