WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ action to reject the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule on waste prevention and resource conservation, commonly referred to as the BLM methane Venting and Flaring Rule. IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell issued the following statement:
“We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for taking quick action in halting this duplicative regulatory burden for U.S. oil and natural gas producers and American jobs. Make no mistake, reducing methane emissions is in the best interest of every oil and natural gas producer. Companies have every incentive to capture and sell as much of their product as possible to American consumers, rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere. However, this new BLM rule is aimed more at shutting down production than creating a workable solution for industry. A current lack of infrastructure and gathering lines to collect gas at the wellhead coupled with an extremely slow process to permit pipeline right-of-ways by the BLM make it exceedingly difficult for producers to safely transport their product to market. If this rule is not repealed, it will most certainly mean a decline in production on federal lands as marginal wells will be forced to shut in, which will also lead to a decline in revenue to the United States Treasury from royalty payments.
“We thank House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) for sponsoring this joint resolution and we urge the U.S. Senate to follow the House’s lead in taking swift action on this important issue for American small businesses.”
With the advancements in technology and horizontal drilling, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has taken steps on its own to reduce methane emissions by near 20-year lows even as production has grown. Today, the United States is the world leader in the reduction of carbon emissions and in the production of oil and natural gas.
In November 2016, the BLM published its final rule regulating venting and flaring from oil and natural gas operations on federal and tribal lands. At many times during the rulemaking process, IPAA attempted to engage with the Administration to find a workable solution that would achieve the common goals of capturing more natural gas while also encouraging a flexible regulation that is not a one-size-fits-all approach. However, our concerns were repeatedly ignored. IPAA and Western Energy Alliance were forced to challenge the BLM’s rule in court, calling it a broad new air quality regime that goes beyond authority granted by Congress. The court case on the merits of the industry’s challenge is still ongoing.
About the Independent Petroleum Association of America
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs. Learn more about IPAA by visiting www.ipaa.org and following @IPAAaccess on Twitter.