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For 2016, the Obama Administration and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have once again put affordable and reliable energy production on the chopping block with new rules targeting methane emissions. In addition to the Clean Power Plan, Ozone Standard, and the Waters of the U.S. Rule, the Administration is once again using the EPA as a vehicle to impose costly and burdensome regulations on American consumers and the energy industry. The EPA’s own estimates show the Methane Rule will cost up to $200 million in 2020, and may reach as high as $500 million by year 2025.

This week 14 states filed lawsuits with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to review the EPA’s Methane Rule, arguing that the rule is a “gross demonstration of federal overreach” and the Agency has exceeded it’s authority. The states that have filed suit include Texas, West Virginia, Michigan, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kansas, Arizona, Alabama and Montana, as well as state agencies from Kentucky and North Carolina.

The Texas Attorney General’s office stated that the EPA did not consider the “steep” costs imposed on the energy industry. In addition to not considering the steep costs, EPA experts also failed to take into consideration that methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells are down 79 percent from 11 years ago, even as gas production has increased 44 percent. Researchers estimate that less than 2 percent of methane is lost during natural gas production. Clearly this is a regulation in search of a problem.

In order for businesses, especially in the energy industry, to provide low cost services to the low and middle-income families that depend on them, the last thing government should do is over-regulate and overtax job creators, producers, and the energy industry.

Lawmakers need to realize that President Obama and the EPA’s Methane Rule has an underlying agenda that will harm more than help taxpayers, consumers, and the economy. President Obama’s “one-size fits all” style government regulatory regime must be reined in before further economic damage is done. 


Photo credit: Joe Crimmings