Texas Oil Regulators Ask State to Sue EPA Over Methane Rule

December EPA Rule Addresses Oil and Gas Emissions
Flare stack in Texas
A natural gas flare stack at an oil well in Midland, Texas. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg News)

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Texas regulators on Jan. 30 formally asked the state’s attorney general to challenge the Biden administration’s rule that seeks to lower emissions from the oil and gas sector.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the state’s massive oil and gas industry and has nothing to do with railroads, voted to ask Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to sue the federal government over the rule issued in December by the Environmental Protection Agency after hearing public commentary.

Multiple environmental groups had argued in favor of the rule, which is part of the Biden administration’s plan to reduce potent greenhouse gas emissions. The rule specifically addresses methane, which is estimated to be at least 80 times more robust than carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere the first two decades after its release.

“The commission is so used to treating the fossil fuel industry with such a light touch that it moved to block a methane reduction rule that oil and gas producers generally did not want to fight,” Adrian Shelley, Texas director of consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said in a statement Jan. 30.

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