Bennet, Carper Urge EPA to Keep Intact Pollution Reduction Guidelines for Oil and Natural Gas Industry

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Tom Carper (D-DE), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to maintain oil and natural gas industry guidelines to provide certainty for industry, improve public health, and combat climate change.

Last month, the EPA proposed withdrawing the 2016 Control Techniques Guidelines for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry. These commonsense, voluntary, and cost-effective guidelines include technologies and approaches to reduce the amount of methane and smog-forming pollutants emitted from existing oil and natural gas equipment and processes. The guidelines were put in place in part to help states meet the EPA’s national standards for ground-level ozone.

“The proposed withdrawal will sacrifice public health, increase climate-changing methane emissions, and prevent opportunities for highly cost-effective volatile organic compound (VOC) emission reduction from the oil and gas sector,” the senators wrote.

In the letter, the senators highlighted states like Colorado and Wyoming, where similar guidelines have already helped reduce emissions and create jobs. Additionally, more than 20 oil and gas companies have pledged to install the recommended technologies. A recent study found that over 130 companies are helping manufacture technologies to cut methane waste, and those companies have experienced up to 30% business growth in states that have methane regulations.

The senators also sent a letter to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs requesting a meeting to discuss the benefits of the guidelines and the EPA’s proposal to withdraw them.

A copy of the letter to the EPA is available HERE.

A copy of the letter to the Office of Information and Regulators Affairs is available HERE.