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BLM Methane Rule Repeal Threatens Wildlife, Public Lands, with Economic Loss for Communities

WASHINGTON, DC  — A rule the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized today will allow more releases of oil and gas industry methane, a potent greenhouse gas and an important economic resource, threatening wildlife and public health, while depriving communities royalties from captured methane sales. This repeal occurs one week after the Environmental Protection Agency announced its plan to abandon parallel standards for new oil and gas facilities, leaving scant federal regulation of methane emissions in place.

 

“Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases — exacerbating climate change and the storms, wildfires, and heat that threaten wildlife and communities alike. The BLM proposal is predicated on a misguided belief that any marginal costs to oil and gas companies should take precedence over the demonstrable, cost-effective economic and public health benefits to taxpayers when methane pollution is captured. The BLM should reverse course before their policy deprives rural communities of much needed revenues and exacerbates the challenges confronting our wildlife heritage,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

 

The 2016 BLM methane waste rule required oil and gas facilities on federal and tribal lands to detect and repair infrastructure leaks and capture more gas instead of venting and flaring it into the atmosphere. Methane has 80 times the global warming potential in the near-term of carbon dioxide, and is the primary component of natural gas.

For more information about methane pollution and wildlife and public health impacts, the 2016 rule, and a timeline of regulatory rollbacks, see:

Read more:

  • NWF Fact Sheet
  • NWF Report, Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunities for Communities

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