BLM revising methane waste prevention rule |

BLM revising methane waste prevention rule

BLM opens comment period for proposed venting and flaring regulation

Craig Press staff report

The Bureau of Land Management has announced plans to revise a 2016 rule regulating venting and flaring of waste methane in oil and gas production.  

The proposed rule would eliminate duplicate regulatory requirements and re-establish long-standing requirements the 2016 final rule sought to replace.

“In order to achieve energy dominance through responsible energy production, we need smart regulations not punitive regulations,” said Joe Balash, assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management.  “We believe this proposed rule strikes that balance and will allow job growth in rural America.”
The BLM’s proposal supports the administration’s priorities, which require agencies to seek ways to reduce the costs of regulatory compliance.

“I am glad that (Interior) Secretary (Ryan) Zinke is proposing to replace the unnecessary and costly methane rule,” said Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY).  “If left in place, the rule would have discouraged energy production and job creation in Wyoming and across the West.”

“The previous administration scorned domestic energy development and crafted the prior rule to deliberately stifle it,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT). “This is a necessary step to promote investment in federal and tribal lands so that economies in the west can grow. We will continue to work in coordination with Secretary Zinke, the Trump administration, states and tribal communities to advance new and better policies.”

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R- ND), U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and U.S. Rep Steve Pearce (R-NM) joined Bishop in supporting revisions to the rule.

The proposal includes a 60-day opportunity for public comment. More information can be found on the Federal Rulemaking Portal, Comments can be made by following the instructions on the website.