Interior moves to delay Obama-era rule on methane emissions

The Interior Department has proposed delaying an Obama-era regulation aimed at restricting harmful methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department is moving to delay an Obama-era regulation aimed at restricting harmful methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands.

The rule, finalized last November, forces energy companies to capture methane that’s flared at drilling sites on public lands because it earns less money than oil. An estimated $330 million a year in methane is wasted through leaks or intentional releases on federal lands, enough to power about 5 million homes a year.

The Interior Department said in a notice to be published in the Federal Register that an analysis conducted during the Obama administration may have underestimated costs and overestimated benefits. The department wants to delay the rule until January 2019.

Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a leading contributor to global warming.

First Published October 4, 2017 12:00 AM

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