Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a motion seeking to intervene into a lawsuit challenging a new rule by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that creates redundant, expensive and unlawful regulation of methane gas venting and flaring on federal land. The intervention, filed in federal court in Wyoming, challenges an eleventh-hour regulation pushed out by the Obama Administration late last year. This intervention marks Attorney General Paxton’s second lawsuit against BLM and also the second challenging federal methane regulations.
“This is yet another case of gross federal overreach in which the Bureau of Land Management exceeded its legal authority, bypassing Congress to implement an unlawful rule on methane gas,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The regulation has negligible environmental benefit and adds additional cost to both Texas and the oil and gas industry by creating more red tape.”
The “Methane Waste Prevention Rule,” which was implemented last November by the Obama administration, classifies flared, vented and leaked methane gas produced from oil and natural gas extraction as a waste product, regulated by BLM.