Trump Budget Proposal Would Slash EPA Funding, Programs

Mar 04, 2017, 00:47
Trump Budget Proposal Would Slash EPA Funding, Programs

This action also comes after the agency received a letter on March 1, 2017, from nine state Attorneys General and the Governors of MS and Kentucky, expressing concern with the pending Information Collection Request for Oil and Gas Facilities.

Pruitt responded, saying the EPA takes the oil and gas industrys concerns seriously and the withdrawal of the information request will reduce burdens on business.

This action also comes after the agency received a letter on March 1, 2017, from nine state Attorneys General and the Governors of MS and Kentucky, expressing concern with the pending Information Collection Request for Oil and Gas Facilities. Those states say it's a form of government "harassment" to request methane information from companies producing the commodities.

"We're overjoyed", Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma said in an email.

Under former President Obama, officials had asked drillers to give the EPA data about methane emissions and equipment at existing oil and gas wells.

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In the closing years of his presidency, Obama began to take aim at methane emissions, issuing rules against leaks and flaring of methane on public and private land.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America argued in a statement that the ICR "should have been a real opportunity for the decision-makers at EPA to better understand the complexities of the US oil and natural gas industry" but that "ended up not being the case". "IPAA welcomes today's announcement as it brings meaningful relief to independent producers across the nation and demonstrates that creating American jobs and developing US energy is a high priority for the Trump administration". Fourteen separate EPA partnership programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could also be on the chopping block.

Environmentalists, meanwhile, are anxious that the oil and gas industry has Pruitt's EPA in its pocket.

Pruitt, a longtime friend of the oil industry, including during his tenure as Oklahoma attorney general, dropped the EPA request Thursday. The information request was finalized in November, sparking pushback from the industry. In 2014, the New York Times reported that Pruitt accused the EPA of overestimating the quantity of methane emissions the oil and gas industry emits — claims he made by using a letter written by lawyers for a large oil and gas company.

This story also appears in Energywire.

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