Since the New Year, Congress and the Trump Administration have already almost completely undone federal methane regulations. It started with a rule enacted by the Interior Department to govern exploration and production operations on federal land. The rule was finished late in late 2016, and that means that the 2017 Congress has an opportunity to rescind the rule with a rarely used procedure under the Congressional Review Act. The House voted 221 to 191 on February 3, 2017 to rescind the rule, and the Senate may follow suit soon.
The Interior Department rule was only expected to be a warm up for a larger, industry-wide rule to be passed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Obama Administration had only taken the first steps in this effort. In March 2016, the EPA requested input from the oil and gas industry on how it should do “comprehensive” methane regulations. Then, in June 2016 the EPA released a draft “information collection request” that the EPA was considering sending to all oil and gas companies. That draft was revised in September. On November 10, 2016, just days after the election, the EPA sent out the final information request. Most companies had 180 days to respond, so many did not do anything because they hoped the new Administration would reverse the order. Sure enough, the data request was rescinded on March 2, just days after the new EPA Administrator was sworn in. Presumably, this means that EPA methane rules are no longer on the table either.
A combination of improved markets and deregulatory efforts appears to be boosting the oil and gas industry, and any companies looking to secure acreage in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia should look no further than Cimmaron Land. Contact us for more information.