Bishop Urges Interior to Withdraw Methane Rules

57 Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Rob Bishop, ask Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to get rid of new methane emission standards that they describe as “a solution in search of a problem.”

Reports the Washington Examiner:

Primarily written by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the letter from 57 House members calls the agency’s new rules overly burdensome for energy companies.

The Department of Interior is a major over-regulator and is causing a slowdown in entrepreneurship, the letter states. The methane rules would just be another example of federal red tape hurting businesses.

“This rule adds another layer of duplicative federal regulation on top of already existing federal and state regulations,” the letter says. “The rule oversteps [Bureau of Land Management’s] regulatory jurisdiction and completely fails to address crucial failures by the BLM to capture methane emissions through common sense methods.”

The regulations propose to limit the amount of natural gas that is vented and flared on federal and tribal lands. Venting and flaring is an industry practice in which natural gas is burned off, as a byproduct of oil drilling, due to safety concerns or because there is too much natural gas being produced and it can’t be transported safely.

The rule seeks to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions coming from natural gas production on federal and tribal lands, and methane is a potent, while short-lived, greenhouse gas. Many scientists blame the burning of the gases for driving manmade climate change.

The letter says that Interior has not addressed a solution to venting and flaring that would help both the environment and industry: Approving more pipelines to transport the gas.