The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has halted an Obama administration rule to cut down on pollution of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas produced at oil and natural gas drilling wells.
The EPA on Wednesday said it had issued a 90-day stay of agency rules designed to limit methane leaks at drilling sites, as well as rules setting standards for equipment and employee certification.
Back in March, President Trump signed an executive order repealing several Obama administration climate regulations, including ordering the EPA to reconsider the historic methane standards.
The Hill added:
“Obama administration officials finalized the methane rule last May. The regulation, part of a federal methane reduction strategy that Trump has also repealed, was designed to cut 520,000 short tons of methane pollution by 2025. The EPA said compliance costs would be about $530 million.
Drillers opposed the rule, saying it was costly and duplicative. Several states sued over the standards at the time, including Oklahoma, whose then-attorney general, Scott Pruitt, is now administrator of the EPA.”
In a Wednesday statement, the Natural Resources Defense Council said the Trump administration is “giving its friends in the oil and gas industry a free pass to continue polluting our air.”
President Trump has reportedly decided to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, a White House official told the Associated Press on Wednesday.