At the urging of the fossil fuels industry, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday morning announced it’s putting on hold an Obama-era rule aimed at limiting methane emissions from oil and gas wells.
In a statement, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the agency is issuing a 90-day stay on the 2016 regulation, which put in place new requirements for oil-and-gas well operators to monitor and limit emissions at drilling sites.
“EPA is continuing to follow through with President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order,” Mr. Pruitt said. “American businesses should have the opportunity to review new requirements, assess economic impacts and report back, before those new requirements are finalized.”
The rules, put in place last summer, targeted a host of equipment across the oil-and-gas sector. Companies were required to institute a host of new testing measures and monitoring equipment, and industry leaders — along with Republican allies in states across the country — argued would raise the cost of doing business and hamper domestic energy production.
Mr. Pruitt’s action Wednesday was a direct response to petitions from the American Petroleum Institute and other oil-and-gas organizations.