Tomorrow, the Trump administration is expected to propose a new rule to delay implementation of the BLM methane rule that curbs waste and pollution from the oil and gas industry on public lands. The proposal would delay for a full year controls on venting, flaring, and leaks that were adopted in 2016 to replace outdated 30-year-old standards and capture benefits from new technologies. The rule’s real purpose is to buy the administration time to finalize a plan to eliminate or gut the BLM methane rule permanently in a direct attack on taxpayers, public health, and the environment.
This delay will result in a conservatively estimated $800 million in lost taxpayer royalties over the next 10 years from unregulated venting and flaring, and will perpetuate toxic air pollution that increases asthma attack rates in our children. If the rule is indeed delayed for one year, enough methane will be wasted from drilling on public lands to heat over one million homes.
“The federal government and the oil and gas industry have known methane waste is a problem for at least seven years, and spent over three years crafting the current rule” said Kyle Tisdel of the Western Environmental Law Center. “It’s well past time for the federal government to stop sacrificing public health and taxpayer royalties for yet another gift to the oil and gas industry.”