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States sue to block new methane rule

The new rule requires oil and gas companies to pay royalties on flared gas.

Farm Press Staff

May 3, 2024

1 Min Read
Courtroom gavel
Courtroom gavel.Getty Images

Montana and Wyoming have joined North Dakota and Texas in suing the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management over a new rule they argue will undermine existing state regulations and harm their oil and natural gas producers.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota. The rule – commonly known as the “methane waste prevention rule” and released last month – is an attempt by the Department of Interior to re-introduce a similar rule adopted by the Obama Administration in 2016. That rule was previously blocked by a Wyoming federal court.

The new rule requires oil and gas companies to pay royalties on flared gas, driving up costs for producers and resulting in increased costs to consumers, the Governor said.

“This rule is yet another example of the Biden administration attempting to use rulemaking to undermine state authority and suffocate the oil and gas industry,” Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said. “We will continue to defend Wyoming’s interests in court whenever they are under attack by the federal government.”

Gordon has previously pointed out Wyoming is a national leader in regulating methane gas, with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission working cooperatively with oil and gas producers to reduce emissions. The states’ complaint explains that the new rule conflicts with state regulations and in certain instances, creates less stringent standards.

Source: Office of Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon

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