the Trump administration wants to repeal regulations on methane leaks


Major oil groups are opposing this dangerous deregulation of the environment and have made commitments to respect the limits set by the Obama administration.

Posted 29 Aug. 2019 at 19h39, updated yesterday at 07h19

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, for Environmental Protection Agency, in English), announced Thursday, August 29, its intention to repeal environmental regulations adopted under Barack Obama and aimed to limit methane leakage in gas extraction wells and pipelines. The administration of Donald Trump intends to continue its environmental deregulation, even if in this case the oil and gas industry did not unanimously demand this change.

The proposal aims to "Remove unnecessary and redundant regulation of the industry"said administrator Andrew Wheeler. "Our regulations should not stifle innovation and progress. " The repeal will not take effect immediately. As with any regulatory change, a period of public debate must precede the finalization of the texts, presumably next year.

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More warming for the atmosphere than CO2

The administration justifies its decision by the fact that manufacturers are already economically incentivized to limit gas leaks, since any leak reduces turnover. She estimates that her decision will save the sector between $ 17 million and $ 19 million a year. But major oil companies, including BP, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, have called for the maintenance of Obama regulations.

Shell has pledged to reduce methane leaks to less than 0.2 percent by 2025, Shell president Gretchen Watkins said Thursday in a statement. "Despite the administration's plan to no longer regulate methane, Shell's US operations will continue to contribute to our global goal.", she said.

Asked about this opposition from the very sector that deregulation is supposed to help, a head of the air protection administration at PE, Anne Idsal, replied: "There are also small and medium enterprises". She added: "We do not prevent anyone from going beyond" future regulations. Methane is a greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide (CO2). If fewer tonnes of methane are emitted than CO2its warming power in the atmosphere is twenty-five times higher.

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