August 17, 2020

EPA Issues New Regulations For Oil and Gas Producers

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued two new regulations that rescinds an Obama-era methane emission rule for certain oil and gas producers.

As The Wall Street Journal explains, the new regulation relaxes reporting requirements and, in some cases, reduces how frequently a plant must check for leaks and pollution. These are intended to be used as a template for lifting similar regulations on other industrial pollutants, according to people familiar with the situation.

The EPA said the rulemakings will reduce regulatory burdens for oil and natural gas entities while protecting human health and the environment.

Combined, the two final rules are estimated to yield net benefits of $750 to $850 million dollars from 2021 to 2030, the annualized equivalent of about $100 million a year. These final rules combined with other deregulatory actions have saved Americans an estimated $94 billion in unnecessary regulatory costs.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the new rules will reduce burdens on small- and medium-sized energy companies, in particular, and will “remove redundant paperwork, align with the Clean Air Act, and allow companies the flexibility to satisfy leak-control requirements by complying with equivalent state rules.”