Environment & Energy Report

White House Backed Drillers Over EPA on Plugging Methane Leaks

Oct. 19, 2018, 11:31 AM

White House officials pushed the EPA to maximize savings for the oil industry despite the agency’s concern that weakening regulations would allow more methane to escape into the atmosphere, according to newly released documents.

The White House pressure campaign came as the Environmental Protection Agency honed a proposal to relax Obama-era requirements governing how frequently oil companies have to check for and repair leaks of methane, an intense greenhouse gas that warms the atmosphere 84 times more than carbon dioxide.

Every move to dial back required inspections and reduce industry costs triggered a corresponding climb in projected methane emissions, a...

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