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Apr 19, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement today after it was announced the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would reconsider a rule finalized last June, which targeted the oil and gas industry with unwarranted regulations on methane emissions.

“I’m encouraged by EPA’s notice to reassess their methane rule facing the oil and gas industry and ultimately the states responsible for implementing the rule in the field. Like I’ve said from the very beginning, regulations – when necessary – need to be tailored to the diverse geography across the United States and overseen by the very people living in those communities. In this instance, industry has every natural incentive to capture methane since it’s the product they sell and states like North Dakota have rules on the books to prevent waste. The federal government had no business injecting themselves in this arena and should partner with states and industry like it has in the past. It works, as demonstrated by the U.S. reducing the six criteria air pollutants by 71 percent since 1970. I commend the President and Administrator Pruitt for their action on this rule.”

The announcement comes in the wake of the Energy Independence Executive Order signed by President Trump on March 28, which aims to “promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.“  The President’s Order also called for review of the Bureau of Land Management’s separate methane rule titled “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation.” Congressman Cramer cosponsored and voted in favor of Congressional Review Act resolution H.J.Res. 36 to disapprove of that rule. The resolution passed in the House on February 3 and awaits action in the Senate.  

According to a report conducted by the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies, of which North Dakota is a member, “[as] of 2015, the combined emissions of the six criteria air pollutants that have federal standards were down 71 percent since 1970.”  The report also says, “the United States has exceeded international progress in air quality.”

North Dakota is leading, with the backing of 13 other states, a lawsuit against this EPA rule, which defends the state’s sovereign jurisdiction over oil and gas regulation. A decision on the lawsuit, defined as a petition for review, is forthcoming in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.