Trump Wants to Slash EPA Budget By 25 Percent

  • Trump Wants to Slash EPA Budget By 25 Percent

Trump Wants to Slash EPA Budget By 25 Percent

As part of the Obama administration's Climate Action Plan, the EPA began to take steps a year ago to better understand how oil and gas equipment leaks methane and how those leaks can be plugged as a way to cut US greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2016, EPA sent letters to more than 15,000 owners and operators in the oil and gas industry, requiring them to provide information [regarding 1) methane emissions and 2) other operational data].

The EPA responded to the states' complaints within one day, saying it will look into whether it's necessary for the agency to collect information about the industry's methane emissions. "EPA is withdrawing both parts of the information request".

The rule on methane emission reporting, part of efforts to combat climate change by reducing said emissions, was issued in a directive from the EPA in November previous year.

While the gas accounts for a small portion of overall greenhouse gas emissions and doesn't stay in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, it traps thirty times more heat per ton than carbon dioxide does. Simultaneously, the agency was developing regulations to limit methane releases from existing oil and gas wells.

The letter was signed by Paxton and the governors or attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia.

The oil industry and its supporters had opposed the request, as well as any EPA effort to crack down on methane, arguing drillers are reducing emissions through state rules and self-regulation.

According to commentators, the move underscored the former Oklahoma attorney general's deep, friendly ties to an industry he was expected to police.

"By taking this step, EPA is signaling that we take these concerns seriously and are committed to strengthening our partnership with the states", EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement.

However, on February 21, a coalition representing the world's biggest automakers, including the 17 largest companies that sell cars in the United States, asked EPA chief Scott Pruitt to reconsider the tailpipe emissions rule.