Washington D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans for new regulations restricting methane emissions. The proposed rule would impose costly new restrictions on oil and natural gas, despite industry efforts that have already drastically reduced emissions in recent years.
Chairman Lamar Smith: “The EPA's proposed methane rule is yet another example of the Obama administration's war on American energy jobs. The EPA's own data shows that methane emissions in the United States decreased by almost 15% between 1990 and 2013, yet EPA is forging ahead with this extraneous and unnecessary regulation. Instead of conspiring with extreme environmental interests, EPA should stop punishing cooperative industry stakeholders and start partnering with them in their current efforts to capture methane in a responsible manner. The EPA’s opposition to responsible, market-driven, ‘all-of-the-above’ domestic energy development is on full display with the announcement of this new regulation.”
Smith has previously criticized the EPA’s release of rules in coordination with environmental stakeholders to the exclusion of energy industry stakeholders. At a July hearing, Committee members asked Administrator Gina McCarthy about the appearance of collusion with environmental groups such as the National Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters and Michael Goo, former Associate Administrator of the EPA Office of Policy. The emails included evidence that Mr. Goo shared draft documents with outside groups and urged them to write reports in support of EPA actions. Today’s rule also was announced alongside an Environmental Defense Fund report that pushes for increased methane regulations.