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What They Are Saying: Administrator Wheeler Delivers on President Trump’s Administration’s Efforts to Strengthen, Promote American Energy in Pittsburgh

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WASHINGTON (August 14, 2020) — Yesterday, at a press conference at the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh, Penn., U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced two final rules related to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industry. Here's what stakeholders and elected officials are saying:

Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes: “I applaud Administrator Wheeler for taking decisive action today and continuing to replace the destructive and burdensome bureaucratic policies of the Obama Administration with commonsense policies. I am proud to join the Administrator in Pennsylvania, a state that will greatly benefit from these actions taken by the EPA today. These new rules will provide relief to American energy companies by reducing the massive cost of complying with unnecessary overregulation from the federal government, allowing them to instead spend their resources on job creation and energy development.”

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt: “I applaud and strongly support President Trump’s continued support for the oil and gas industry. During these uncertain times, it makes no sense that we would be placing additional regulatory burdens on our vital industries which are not supported by sound science and do not consider economic impact. These rulemakings will continue to remove unnecessary regulatory burdens and strengthen our economy.” 

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (WY): “The Trump administration is taking commonsense steps to protect our air without harming the economy. These updates will cut unnecessary regulations. Wyoming is already leading the way on this front by regulating methane emissions from oil and gas production. I will continue to work with the administration on this shared priority.” 

Senator Jim Inhofe (OK): “These new rules are the right call—they provide clarity and appropriate oversight that follows the Clean Air Act without punishing regulations. The Obama-era methane rules were nothing more than a big government power grab. Why? Because they were unnecessary: they offered no environmental benefit as methane emissions are under ten percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and the oil and gas industry had already reduced methane emissions by more than 40 percent between 2006 and 2012 without any federal mandate. With these actions, the Trump administration is following through on yet another deregulatory action that will support American oil and gas workers and strengthen our energy independence.”

Senator Kevin Cramer (ND): “The Obama Administration weaponized EPA rules to go after the oil and gas industry. Rescinding these unnecessary and politically-motivated regulations better align EPA rules with the Clean Air Act and will save critical resources for our smaller producers of reliable energy, which already have every incentive to reduce methane emissions. Administrator Wheeler understands the importance of protecting American-made energy and carrying out President Trump’s directive to assist this vitally important industry however possible.”

Senator Mike Enzi (WY): “I’m glad the Trump administration is rolling back these costly regulatory burdens. Oil and gas companies are facing unprecedented challenges with the coronavirus pandemic and the economic slowdown. Rescinding these unnecessary and burdensome requirements will help small and mid-sized producers stay afloat and protect jobs in our communities.”

Senator John Hoeven (ND): “We appreciate the EPA’s efforts to remove the previous administration’s costly and duplicative methane rules for oil and gas wells. EPA’s final rule will help to reduce unnecessary compliance costs borne by consumers, while maintaining appropriate environmental and health protections. At the same time, we continue working to bring certainty to the approval process for pipelines and other vital energy infrastructure to help energy producers capture natural gas and get this valuable resource to market.” 

Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14): “As someone born and raised in southwestern Pennsylvania, I have seen firsthand the impact of the natural gas renaissance on our communities, including tremendous job creation and unprecedented wage growth. The rules announced today by Administrator Wheeler will remove burdensome regulations while continuing to provide for cleaner and healthier air. Thank you to the Trump Administration for taking action and for their longstanding commitment to supporting Pennsylvania gas and oil operators, fighting for American energy independence, and fostering economic opportunities for workers and families.”

Congresswoman Carol Miller (WV-03): “I applaud President Trump and Administrator Wheeler’s commitment to removing burdensome regulations on the industries that power our country. With the announcement of New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Gas Industry, our country can grow its domestic energy production in order to create more stable jobs and a stronger economy. By supporting innovation and cutting red tape, we can continue on the path of American energy independence in an efficient and responsible way.” 

Congresswoman Liz Cheney (WY-At Large): “I'm pleased to see the Trump Administration taking further action that will allow states like Wyoming to have control over our methane gas emissions. Instead of a top-down, Washington-knows-best approach, the rule announced today recognizes that our states know best how to manage our resources, and will enable our state to continue its leadership role when it comes to managing these emissions. Going forward, we must look for more ways to give control and decision-making authority to state and local stakeholders, rather than leaving power in the hands of unelected federal bureaucrats.”

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02): “The Obama-Era methane regulations would cost the American economy millions of dollars each year in regulatory costs, in addition to killing hundreds of American jobs. Methane emissions from oil and natural gas have significantly declined in recent decades without multiple, overlapping federal regulations, and this is no exception. These final rules will cut the red tape for producers while protecting our air and environment from pollution. Thank you, President Trump, for taking this action to support the American energy industry.”

Congressman Clay Higgins (LA-03): “The oil and gas industry faces a generational crisis. We must do everything possible to mitigate further job losses and position the industry for a solid recovery. That includes rolling back burdensome and unnecessary regulations. I’m grateful that President Trump understands the importance of America’s energy industry, and we’ll continue working with him to restore our oil and gas jobs.”

Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01): “I’m glad to see the Trump administration provide yet another example of their commitment to rescind burdensome EPA regulations from the previous administration, and allow oil and gas industry jobs to multiply. I support the administration’s actions to not only make America energy independent, but energy dominant around the world. Oklahoma ranks sixth in crude oil production and fifth in natural gas production in the United States. Roughly one-quarter of all jobs in Oklahoma are tied to the energy industry, and given the recent hardships that have negatively impacted many of these good paying jobs, this Executive Order is a relief to many Oklahomans.” 

Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04): “President Obama weaponized the EPA against the energy industry, creating job-killing regulations, and stifling American energy and economic growth. Duplicative and costly methane mandates from the Obama administration have burdened our energy sector and held back American energy dominance. Today’s announcement by EPA shows President Trump and Administrator Wheeler understand that the energy industry and the environment can coexist.”

Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01), Ranking Member of the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: “We must renew the American energy revolution to rebuild our economy. I applaud the Administration’s continued efforts to protect the environment and get Americans back to work.”

Oklahoma Department of Energy and Environment Secretary Kenneth Wagner: “I am very pleased to support EPA’s rulemakings relating to New Source Performance Standards under the Clean Air Act. With these actions, EPA is ensuring that our regulatory structure is protective of our environment and based on sound scientific data. These rules are consistent with the text of the Clean Air Act and streamline requirements for industry during these extremely difficult economic times. Well done Administrator Wheeler and the team in the Office of Air & Radiation.” 

Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment Secretary Becky W. Keogh: “These rules will reduce the burden and costs associated with compliance, while maintaining adequate protection and regulatory oversight. This is an important step for Arkansas and U.S. leadership in sustainable and responsible domestic energy production.”

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Speaker Bryan Cutler: “Growing reliable and effective energy sources on home soil continues to benefit millions of Americans. Today’s announcement shows a commitment to not only pursue continued energy production, but also to ensure it is done responsibly, so that future generations will enjoy the benefits, and our natural resources, for many years to come.” 

Pennsylvania State Senator Camera Bartolotta: “Pennsylvania’s development of shale gas is a homegrown industry with national and global benefits – from improving air quality to reshaping geopolitics – making America and our allies stronger and more secure. I observe firsthand the significant benefits that natural gas provides in boosting the economy right here in the 46th Senatorial District, providing family-sustaining jobs and producing affordable energy. The EPA’s announcement balances public health and environmental protection with sound regulatory policy to support the safe and reliable development of oil and natural gas that our communities need.” 

Pennsylvania State Representative Josh Kail: “It is great to see the Trump Administration understanding the potential for great growth stemming from our affordable, clean and reliable natural gas industry. Energy can, and should, be the catalyst for a manufacturing Renaissance; having the Trump Administration's EPA recognize that potential through common sense regulatory reforms that also ensure our air and environment continue to be protected is a huge asset for Western Pennsylvanians.”

Allegheny County Councilman Sam DeMarco: “I’m pleased to see the regulatory burden eased for this industry which has been a vital component of the region’s economy providing jobs and low cost energy to consumers. We anticipate that this action will contribute to providing more of both while still protecting our environment.” 

American Exploration and Production Council CEO Anne Bradbury: “US independent oil and natural gas producers invest millions of dollars in innovative emissions-reducing technologies and take numerous voluntary steps to reduce the environmental impacts from their operations. EPA’s commitment to following the Clean Air Act protects health and the environment, effectively regulates emissions from our industry, and allows for the responsible production of oil and gas. Through these rules, EPA streamlines regulatory requirements while also importantly recognizing the role that technology and innovation play in advancing efforts to reduce emissions.”

American Petroleum Institute Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs Frank Macchiarola: “We support this revision as it is consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Our industry continues to drive down methane emissions from operations while meeting America’s energy needs every day. Under these modified rules, operators will still be required to control emissions, and the industry continues to make progress in reducing methane emissions through new technologies. Thanks to measurable industry initiatives like The Environmental Partnership, methane emission rates from five of the largest producing regions across the U.S. have fallen more than 60 percent from 2011 to 2018 – even as production in those regions has increased dramatically.” 

American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle: “President Trump's EPA has taken another important step in curbing the regulatory excesses of the previous administration. Today's actions by the EPA are a recognition that the Obama-Biden methane rule was duplicative, costly, and unnecessary. Cleaning up the 2016 methane mess will allow our independent natural gas and oil producers to continue to provide American families with the low-cost gasoline and clean burning electricity that powers our lives. The numbers tell the story. From 1990 through 2015, a year before Obama-Biden methane rule was finalized, natural gas production in the U.S. went up by 55 percent, while methane emissions from natural gas production went down by 23 percent. Recent data on methane reductions for the Permian and Appalachian basins is even more dramatic and further proof that the hysteria from the green left and the media surrounding this rule is completely unwarranted.” 

The Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies Deputy Director Nick Loris: “Burdensome regulations yielding negligible climate benefits threaten the United States’ ability to produce affordable energy. As the world’s largest natural gas producer, increased supplies have been a huge boon to American families and energy-intensive manufacturing industries. Natural gas exports have helped our allies reduce dependence on Russian gas. The EPA’s reversal of Obama’s duplicative and unnecessary methane regulations further advances the era of United States energy dominance while protecting air quality. Methane emissions had fallen before the Obama-era rule was ever put in place despite substantial increased energy production because companies have an economic incentive to capture it and sell it. These rules were a costly, non-solution in search of a problem. The EPA was right to right size them.”

Independent Petroleum Association of America Executive Vice President Lee Fuller: “The Independent Petroleum Association of America commends the Environmental Protection Agency for their initiative in making corrections to the air emissions regulations affecting oil and natural gas production operations. The EPA’s revisions to its New Source Performance Standards create well-balanced changes. Sound regulations of new production that capture volatile organic compounds and methane are retained while efforts are made to allow for the use of more effective Leak Detection and Repair technology and small business low production wells are relieved of inappropriate regulatory burdens that were never designed for these operations.”