Sen. Cramer, colleagues request report on Obama-era EPA methane, oil and gas regulatory process


U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee member, joined a letter led by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting a report on United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory process under the Obama Administration for regulating methane emissions from oil and gas operations, with the intention of shining light on EPA’s regulatory process. Small producers face higher regulatory burdens and these regulations disproportionate impact small producers compared with large producers. 

“Methane emissions account for approximately 9 percent of the United States Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. Oil and natural gas contributes less than one-third of these emissions,” wrote the senators. “The Obama administration’s EPA promulgated two New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and one set of Control Techniques Guidelines that provided a federal framework for regulation of both methane and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions from these operations.”

The North Dakota Petroleum Council applauded the effort.

“We support the effort by Senators Cramer and Inhofe to get some answers on the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate methane emissions related to oil and gas production” said Ron Ness, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.  “The EPA’s recent revisions to Obama-era methane emissions regulations were a welcome relief to what would have been very costly and burdensome regulations to comply with.  We hope that the EPA utilizes the best data and employs the most accurate analysis when promulgating new regulations and we look forward to the results of this report.”

Senators Cramer and Inhofe were joined on the letter by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and James Lankford (R-OK).