The Bull Mountain area with Huntsman Ridge in the background.

Methane Waste Rule Under Attack Again

We finally got a breath of good news, when a federal court judge ruled against Secretary Zinke’s attempt to unilaterally delay the Methane Waste Rule’s implementation, and demanded that the rule be immediately reinstated, but we aren’t out of the woods yet.

On the same day the judge ruled against the unilateral attempt to delay implementation, Secretary Zinke and the Department of the Interior announced another new rule attempting to delay the Methane Waste Rule’s implementation. Here is the BLM’s page on the rule, and here is the Federal Register notice on the new proposed rule.

This new rule is Secretary Zinke’s fourth attempt to prove that this administration cares far more about the industry than protecting American citizens. The Methane Waste Rule takes common sense steps to prevent the waste of natural gas, real waste that you can see here by watching the Environmental Defense Fund’s Methane Waste Ticker.

The Methane Waste Rule is about more than economics. Without the rule, the oil and gas industry is free to recklessly leak millions of tons of methane pollution and toxic chemicals into the air. Over 74,000 people live within a half-mile of an oil or gas facility on federal public lands, and the risks are simply unacceptable.

The new proposed rule is subject to a 30-day comment period. The BLM is asking for comments that address, among other things, whether or not this new rule suspending implementation of the Methane Rule is warranted. Unfortunately, the BLM is making it difficult to submit online comments for this rulemaking. There is no option for email submissions, and the only online comment option is through a federal web portal. Click here to head to the online comment portal for this rule.  Below is a suggested comment to paste into the federal web portal.

The suspension of the Methane Waste Rule is completely unwarranted. The Methane Waste Rule is a commonsense regulation preventing select special interests from wasting resources that belong to the American public.

Suspending a rule that prevents the waste of $330 million in resources per year is unacceptable. Beyond the economics, the venting and flaring of methane is a health and safety risk Americans cannot tolerate. 74,000 people live within ½ a mile of an oil and gas facility on public or tribal lands, and the suspension of this rule subjects them to immense health risks.

Please do not implement this rule suspending the implementation of the Methane Waste Rule.

Thank you.

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