Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a proposal to delay or suspend key parts of its Methane Waste Rule until 2019. The rule, finalized nearly a year ago, requires the oil and gas industry to use cost-effective technologies and practices to reduce venting and flaring, as well as find and fix leaks from oil and gas infrastructure on public and tribal lands—protecting taxpayers, public health, and the environment. Earthjustice is already representing Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and Western Organization of Resource Councils in court to prevent the administration from delaying this rule.
The following is a statement from Abigail Dillen, Earthjustice Vice President of Litigation for Climate and Energy:
“This latest delay of the BLM methane rule simply reaffirms what we’ve known all along: when the oil and gas industry says ‘jump,’ the Trump administration asks ‘how high?’ Under the Trump administration, the Interior Department has essentially become an arm of the oil and gas industry, bending over backwards to do the bidding of corporate polluters at the expense of public health and safety. Only this administration could look at oil and gas sites spewing toxic pollution and methane and conclude that the solution is to pollute more, not less.
“The BLM Methane rule is a win-win-win: it saves millions of taxpayer dollars, prevents dangerous chemicals from polluting the air our children breath, and protects our environment. The public has already made its support for this rule crystal clear, and we will use every legal tool at our disposal to block this rollback from taking effect.”