The public comment period on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) proposed Waste Prevention rule has been extended.
The public now has until April 22 to submit any concerns over the proposal, which calls for tougher regulations on methane emissions from oil and natural gas on federal and tribal lands.
The proposed rule has drawn congressional scrutiny.
“These regulations have nothing to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with shutting down the oil and gas industry," U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said. "This BLM rule, in particular, is duplicative of EPA and state regulations. Plus, let’s not forget the oil and gas industry already has a natural incentive to capture methane – essentially natural gas – and sell it in the marketplace. Federal agency data even shows methane emissions have been reduced at the same time natural gas production has increased."
This week, Cramer and 42 House colleagues sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee, urging it to block funding for implementation of the proposed new methane rule.
Cramer alleges the environmental thrust of the proposed rule can't be justified.
“Even with the dramatic increase in oil and gas development in (North Dakota), there is no justification for the BLM to adopt these rules because the state’s current regulations protect the environment,” Cramer said. “In fact, the American Lung Association has scored all North Dakota counties with an A grade in its 2015 “State of the Air” report card."