Texas joins other states’ suit over new EPA oil, gas methane rule

Texas joined several other producing US states in a lawsuit challenging the US Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule limiting methane emissions from new oil and gas wells and storage tanks, and from wells producing fewer than 15 b/d of oil (OGJ Online, May 13, 2016).

The office of Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton (R) filed a petition on July 28 to join the action with the US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia. The filing was consolidated with other states “who object to EPA’s overreach, which North Dakota described as ‘arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with the law,’” Paxton’s office said on July 29.

“This EPA rule finalizes amendments to the new source performance standards in the Clean Air Act, forming new compliance schedules for the control of volatile organic compounds,” it said. “The rule, for the first time, also establishes emission standards limitations on greenhouse gases, specifically methane, and creates new categories of oil and gas facilities.

“Not only is this a gross demonstration of federal overreach, but EPA has failed to consider the steep cost of this rule on the existing industry,” the Texas AG’s office said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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