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Freedom Fridays

April 6, 2018 – Removing Barriers to American Energy

EPA and BLM regulations on methane emissions: duplicative, costly, and detrimental to American energy independence. 



What does this regulation do?

In the waning days of President Obama’s second term, his politically-motivated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized rules and regulations that harm our domestic production of oil and gas. Under the guise of reducing emissions and protecting the environment, these rules were yet another effort by the Obama administration to undermine American oil and gas.


Why is this a problem?

The oil and gas industries are two of the most heavily regulated industries in the country. These new rules are duplicative and costly, and have the potential to make significant dents on our workforce and economy. Oil and gas producers are also already implementing new technologies to reduce emissions, all while attempting to increase production to meet market demands. Over the last decade, major energy corporations have made significant strides at reducing emissions and these regulations will only make those efforts more difficult.


What am I doing about it?

On March 15, I signed onto a letter with fellow Western Caucus members to the House Appropriations Committee asking for these two rules to be repealed in the fiscal year 2019 appropriations package. I remain hopeful that they will honor our request on behalf of not only the thousands of diligent industry workers, but also for the American people.


What are they saying?

“We are supportive of smart regulation that is effectively tailored to BLM’s authority to prevent waste and conserve resources, an objective that our industry shares.  Effective energy policy can bolster the achievements of industry best practices and innovations along with cost-effective state and federal efforts that are already providing strong environmental leadership. This successful combination has led to a decline of 16.3 percent in methane between 1990 and 2015, according to the 2017 EPA U.S. GHG Inventory report, at a time when natural gas output increased 51.9 percent. This is in addition to the U.S. leading the world in reducing carbon emissions, which are now near 25-year lows.

“One example of industry’s leadership and commitment to improve environmental performance, many of the nation’s largest natural gas and oil companies have committed to further accelerate reductions of methane and VOC emissions from U.S. operations as participants of a new voluntary program, The Environmental Partnership. Participants in the program, now more than 30 members and growing, commit to implement targeted programs to reduce emissions from some of the highest emitting sources and report their progress annually.” – Richard Ranger, Senior Policy Analyst, American Petroleum Institute


“The Obama Administration’s unnatural fixation with destroying traditional energy resources resulted in numerous misguided and job-killing regulations being imposed on job creators and the American people that caused catastrophic harm to our economy. With annual compliance costs of $530 million and $279 million respectively, the EPA and BLM Methane rules are no exception. These new Washington mandates trample on states’ rights by imposing unnecessary and duplicate one-size-fits all standards. The regulations defy commonsense as methane emissions have decreased significantly over the last decade while production has increased over that same time period. I applaud Western Caucus Chief Regulatory Reform Officer Andy Biggs for his leadership and efforts to repeal these terrible mandates not based on sound science,” – Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar (AZ-04)