The rollback of the Obama-era rule designed to reduce climate-warming methane emissions that former President Trump ordered in 2020 is a candidate for revocation under an Executive Order issued January 20 by President Biden. The President’s “Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis” directs the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to “consider suspending, revising, or rescinding” the regulation it adopted September 15, 2020 that sets new emissions standards for methane.
In a related development, both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute (API) this week announced support for regulatory actions to limit methane emissions, a departure from previously held policy positions of both associations. The Chamber posted on its website on January 20 the following statement:
The Chamber supports the continued reductions of methane emissions, both voluntarily and by direct regulation under the Clean Air Act. Such regulation must be smart and follow the appropriate process under the Clean Air Act for regulating methane as a pollutant and not be duplicative of existing regulations while preserving state regulatory programs. Additionally, regulations must encourage innovative solutions by not prescribing technologies and be solely focused on the detection and reduction of emissions in the U.S.
In a January 21 blog, API President Mike Sommers said:
Any discussion of addressing the risks of climate change should include a focus on reducing methane emissions from natural gas and oil production. While affordable, reliable energy provided by natural gas and oil is essential to our modern economy and Americans’ everyday lives, lowering methane emissions from that production also is essential.