The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week announced it was withdrawing an Obama administration requirement that oil and natural gas drillers provide information on methane emissions from their operations, Kallanish Energy reports.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in his ninth day in charge at the agency, said the withdrawal is effective immediately. Pruitt said he wants to analyze the need for the information the agency has been collecting under a federal directive issued last November.
The EPA sent letters to 15,000 owners and operators in the drilling industry, requiring them to file certain information with the agency on emissions from existing operations. It said the additional data was needed to prepare new regulations under Obama’s plan to fight climate change.
Last week’s “action will reduce burdens on business while we take a closer look at the need for additional information from this industry,” Pruitt said, in a statement.
Eleven states had challenged the reporting request as overly burdensome.
Pruitt said his action shows the EPA under his command takes the concerns of state officials seriously. But environmental groups said Pruitt’s action was giving in to states with oil and natural gas drilling operations.
This move should lower the cost for drilling in all the major shale plays. One has to wonder what are the next moves that Pruitt will make.