10/16/2017 - Regulatory Rollback

Oil and Gas Methane Information Collection Request

by EELP Staff

The Environmental & Energy Law Program is tracking the environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration. Click here for the list of rules we are following. If you’re a reporter and would like to speak with an expert on this rule, please email us.

Why it Matters

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and the main component of natural gas. Extracting, refining, storing, and distributing natural gas can lead to methane leaks. While EPA regulated new sources of methane from the oil and gas sector in 2012 and 2016, the standards do not apply to any of the nation’s oil and gas infrastructure installed before those years.

History

Nov. 10, 2016 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues an Information Collection Request (ICR) to operators, asking them to identify ways to control methane from existing oil and gas sources; covered facilities and processes included “onshore production, gathering and boosting, gas processing, transmission, storage, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) import/export.” This was the agency’s first step towards regulating existing oil and gas infrastructure for methane leaks, venting, and flaring.

Trump Era

April 1, 2017 Eleven states write Administrator Pruitt asking him to cancel the ICR because it is too burdensome for industry.

April 2, 2017 EPA cancels the ICR.