Methane Waste and Prevention Rule

Methane Waste and Prevention Rule

On Feb, 12, 2018, The Trump moved to repeal one of the last unchallenged climate-change regulations rushed into place in the waning days of the Obama presidency — a rule restricting the release of planet-warming methane into the atmosphere. (New York Times).

Here in Sublette County? The DEQ estimates we have roughly 4,000 fugitive leaks of methane and VOX and NOX. Leaked methane is not taxed, vented or flared methane is not taxed. The new ruling would require more leak detection technology.

Short story? Call Enzi, Barrasso and Cheney and tell them not to repeal it! The deadline is April 23, 2018. A comment on the proposed information collection revisions is best assured of being given full consideration if received by March 26, 2018.

This rule would require oil and gas producers to take commonsense and cost-effective measures to reduce this waste of gas, modernizing the existing, more than 30-year-old oil and gas production rules.  The rule would not raise royalty rates.

The final requirements, which were be phased in, would help curb waste of our nation’s natural gas supplies; reduce harmful air pollution, including greenhouse gases; and provide a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers, Tribes, and States.

Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134LM, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC 20240, Attention: 1004–AE53. Personal or messenger delivery: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 20 M Street SE, Room 2134 LM, Washington, DC 20003, Attention: Regulatory Affairs. Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// In the Searchbox, enter ‘‘RIN 1004–AE53’’ and click the ‘‘Search’’ button. Follow the instructions at this website. Here is a link with the details.

In November of 2016, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published its final rule that intended to limit the loss of methane through venting, flaring or leaks of natural gas from oil and gas production on public and Indian lands. Some provisions were to go into effect in January 2017 and others in January 2018. The BLM’s new rule postpones those provisions and suspends others already in effect until January 17, 2019. It will mean another year where taxpayers lose out on significant royalties from natural gas waste.

Designed to reduce natural gas waste, this rule would also achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production, while providing “a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers” by requiring operators to pay royalties on wasted gas. The BLM estimates the rule could save enough methane to supply around 740,000 households each year.

By January 2019 deadline, the BLM intends to make substantial changes to the 2016 methane rule, curtailing its ability to reduce wasteful production practices on federal lands.