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W.Va. Challenges EPA's Oil & Gas Methane Rule

Natural Gas, Compressor Station
Glen Dillon
wikimedia Commons

This week West Virginia’s Attorney General launched his latest lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Patrick Morrisey is leading a dozen other states in a suit that hopes to dismantle a rule aiming to reduce methane emissions produced by the oil and gas industry.

The suit asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review a rule that sets the first-ever standards to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. The EPA estimates the oil and gas industry is the largest methane-emitting sector in the country. The agency finalized new standards earlier this year because methane is a potent greenhouse gas.

Morrisey says the new regulations are illegal and will threatens jobs by raising gas production and distributions costs. The EPA estimates regulations will cost the industry $530 million in 2025. Recent financial reports indicate the sector created over $230 billion in revenues last year.

The suit was filed on the heels of a separate, similar suit filed by a dozen industry groups. 

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