WASHINGTON —Heritage energy and environmental economist Nick Loris said the following on the EPA’s decision to undo the Obama administration’s methane regulations:
The United States has become the world’s leading oil and natural gas producer, providing affordable, reliable power to families and businesses. But heavy-handed regulations yielding negligible climate benefits threaten the United States’ ability to produce affordable energy. The Obama administration’s methane regulations were a costly, non-solution in search of a problem.
Energy producers have an incentive to capture and sell methane, the main component in natural gas, because it has economic value—yielding low cost energy for consumers and reducing the United States’ allies dependence on Russian gas. The EPA even notes methane emissions from the industry have fallen despite the fact energy production has skyrocketed. Furthermore, states have implemented their own rules and the private sector is taking voluntary action to capture methane. As noted in Heritage’s Blueprint For Balance, the previous administration’s climate regulations were burdensome, duplicative, and unnecessary; the current EPA is wise to right size them.