facebook linkedin twitter

EDF, Environmental Groups File Lawsuit to Block Trump Administration’s Plan to Roll Back Methane Waste Standards

October 3, 2018 by TWN Staff

This week, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and a broad coalition of health, environmental, Native American and Western citizens’ groups have filed a lawsuit to stop the Trump administration from eliminating protections that reduce waste and associated pollution from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands.

Congress mandated that Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must require companies drilling on public and tribal lands to use “all reasonable precautions to prevent waste.” BLM created the Waste Prevention Rule to fulfill that mandate. It requires operators to control the venting, flaring, and leaks that waste natural gas – using proven and widely-available technologies that are already in use in the industry and already required by leading states.

The Trump administration is trying to eliminate the rule, which reduces the waste of natural gas. BLM admits that its rollback of the Waste Prevention Rule will hurt average Americans — costing taxpayers up to $80 million in lost royalty revenues over the next ten years.

“The Trump administration’s action will imminently harm Americans by allowing substantial waste of natural gas that will result in lost money for taxpayers and additional air pollution that puts families at risk,” said EDF Lead Attorney Peter Zalzal in a statement. “We plan to vigorously challenge the administration’s decision to eliminate the Waste Prevention Rule, which completely disregards these foundational public interests.”

EDF argues that more than $2 billion of American taxpayer-owned natural gas has been wasted through leaks or intentional venting and flaring since 2013. They say money that could have gone toward schools, health care and other vital public projects across the West.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke justified the rollback in part by saying the Waste Prevention Rule is redundant because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also has methane regulations. However, EDF believes the Trump administration is already attempting to roll back those EPA methane protections.

More than half a million Americans have contacted BLM to oppose a rollback of the Waste Prevention Rule. A recent Colorado College poll found that 7 in 10 Western voters, including a majority of Republicans, support a strong BLM methane rule. And Congress, in a bipartisan vote, rejected an attempt to repeal the Waste Prevention Rule in May of 2017.

EDF filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California late Friday, asking the court to vacate Zinke’s rollback and reinstate the Waste Prevention Rule.

Sierra Club, Los Padres Forestwatch, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, National Wildlife Federation, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights, the Montana Environmental Information Center, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Western Organization of Resource Councils, Wilderness Workshop, Wildearth Guardians, Wyoming Outdoor Council, Earthjustice, Clean Air Task Force, and Western Environmental Law Center joined EDF in the lawsuit.

In The News

Health

Voting

In The News

Turn Off, Turn On: Simple Step Can Thwart Top Phone Hackers

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — As a member of the secretive Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Angus King has reason to worry... Read More

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — As a member of the secretive Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Angus King has reason to worry about hackers. At a briefing by security staff this year, he said he got some advice on how to help keep his cellphone secure. Step One:... Read More

Infrastructure Talks Leave Biden's Entire Agenda at Risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's latest leap into the Senate's up-and-down efforts to clinch a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's latest leap into the Senate's up-and-down efforts to clinch a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure deal comes with even more at stake than his coveted plans for boosting road, rail and other public works projects. The outcome of the infrastructure bargaining,... Read More

July 28, 2021
by Dan McCue
Biden Proposes Rule to Bolster America’s Manufacturing Sector

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden announced a new proposed rule Wednesday morning that’s intended to strengthen domestic supply chains and... Read More

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden announced a new proposed rule Wednesday morning that’s intended to strengthen domestic supply chains and bolster the nation’s manufacturing sector by establishing a higher threshold for products to qualify as made in the United States. The announcement comes ahead of Biden’s... Read More

July 28, 2021
by Dan McCue
Voters Reject Trump-Endorsed Republican in Texas Special Election

First-term Texas State Rep. Jake Ellzey defeated fellow Republican Susan Wright in a special runoff  election in Texas’s 6th Congressional... Read More

First-term Texas State Rep. Jake Ellzey defeated fellow Republican Susan Wright in a special runoff  election in Texas’s 6th Congressional District Tuesday night, dealing former President Donald Trump a defeat in terms of the enduring power of his endorsement. Ellzey received 53.3% of the vote to... Read More

July 28, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Keeping Big Brother in Check: Facial Recognition Technology

Biometric technology identifies you based on your biological characteristics: your fingerprint, your iris, your face.  It can even measure how... Read More

Biometric technology identifies you based on your biological characteristics: your fingerprint, your iris, your face.  It can even measure how you walk, your gait, said Steve Crown, vice president and general counsel at Microsoft, during Tuesday’s Center for Strategic & International Studies’ event on the human... Read More

July 28, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
How Acupuncture Can Help Treat COVID-19

A study by Chinese researchers examines the ability of acupuncture treatment to suppress inflammatory stress, improve immunity, and regulate nervous... Read More

A study by Chinese researchers examines the ability of acupuncture treatment to suppress inflammatory stress, improve immunity, and regulate nervous system function to help patients with COVID-19.  “Acupuncture is widely used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, such as osteoarthritis, pancreatitis, obstructive emphysema, but in China,... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top