By Alleen Brown
February 15 201
IN DONALD TRUMP’S first week as president, text describing two rules regulating the oil and gas industry was removed from an Interior Department website. The rules, limiting hydraulic fracturing and natural gas flaring on public lands, are both in the crosshairs of the Trump administration.
The changes were noted by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, or EDGI, which has been monitoring changes to federal websites since Trump’s inauguration.
On January 21, the Bureau of Land Management page, which describes various regulations for how the oil and gas industry should operate on federal land, still included a section on the Methane and Waste Prevention rule. The regulation was part of the Obama administration’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change. By January 28, the section was gone.
The rule, which is widely opposed by the oil and gas industry, limits fossil fuel companies’ ability to vent and flare gas on public land, which releases methane, a greenhouse gas around 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. It was one of the first Obama-era regulations to be targeted by a Republican-controlled Congress empowered by Trump. On February 3, at least five days after the site had been updated, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the methane rule using the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress 60 days to eliminate federal regulations legislators don’t like. The bill awaits a Senate vote….
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