Arrington, EPA Officials Announce Proposal of New Methane Rule to Benefit Small and Independent Energy Producers

LUBBOCK – Today, Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) joined Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 Deputy Administrator David Gray to announce the proposal of a new EPA rule to provide regulatory relief for energy producers in West Texas and throughout the United States. The proposed rule would eliminate duplicate regulations on methane emissions during the transmission and storage of oil and natural gas, which place an unnecessary and harmful economic burden on small and independent energy producers while providing no environmental benefit.

Congressman Arrington praised the rollback of these regulations as a major win for West Texas energy producers.

“The heart of America’s economic prosperity and unrivaled security is an abundant, affordable, and reliable supply of domestic energy. The energy revolution and, in particular, the innovations in technology we have seen from industry leaders here in West Texas in recent years have advanced our nation’s energy security while creating a significant reduction in carbon emissions. Today’s proposed rule will reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations, empowering our energy producers to continue to lead the way in our nation’s energy dominance and environmental stewardship,” said Arrington.

“The Obama administration’s midnight regulation on the oil and gas industry would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs for our small and independent energy producers with no real environmental impact. I applaud President Trump and the EPA for finding meaningful ways to balance the stewardship of our environment and economic growth, leaving our nation safer, stronger, and cleaner for our children and grandchildren.”

“Standing here today in Lubbock, it’s clear that community leaders and businesses are counting on us to enact reasonable, responsible rules that protect the health of the community and encourage economic growth,” said EPA Deputy Regional Administrator David Gray. 

“This proposed action will ensure that communities where oil and gas activities take place, here and across the nation, will continue to thrive.”

Background:

  • In 2016, the Obama Administration issued the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) mandating the use of technologies to monitor methane emissions in the production, processing, transmission, and storage of oil and gas.
  • On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing agencies to review existing regulations that potentially “burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources,” including oil and natural gas, and to rescind or suspend regulatory requirements if appropriate.
  • The proposed EPA rule announced today would remove sources in the transmission and storage segment of the oil and gas industry from regulation.
  • Emissions from production and processing are still subject to limits for smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • By leaving controls on VOCs in place, the proposed rule continues to protect public health and the environment while reducing redundant regulations on energy producers.
  • The proposed rule is expected to save the oil and gas industry between $17 and $19 million per year, a total of $97 to $123 million from 2019-2025.

Read more about the EPA’s proposed rule here.