Wyoming and Montana file legal challenge to BLM methane rule

By The Associated Press

Wyoming and Montana are pushing to block a rule that President Barack Obama's administration issued last week seeking to restrict how oil companies burn off natural gas on public lands.

 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming and Montana are pushing to block a rule that President Barack Obama's administration issued last week seeking to restrict how oil companies burn off natural gas on public lands.

In the federal lawsuit filed Friday in Cheyenne, the states argue that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management lacks authority over air quality issues.

Energy companies frequently "flare," or burn off, large volumes of natural gas at drilling sites because it makes less money than oil.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says his state already has effective limits on venting and flaring of natural gas.

The federal rule seeks to reduce waste and harmful methane emissions to address climate change. Although the incoming Republican administration of President-elect Donald Trump could rescind the rule, doing so would likely take months.

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