Greens move to defend methane rules

Greens move to defend methane rules

Six environmental groups are looking to defend new federal curbs or methane pollution at oil and natural gas sites. 

The groups filed a court motion late Monday to protect the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) methane rule from lawsuits brought by more than a dozen states and several oil and gas industry groups. 

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In a statement, the greens called the methane rules “vital, common-sense clean air standards” and said the lawsuits against it are “misguided legal attacks.”

"These lawsuits seek to dismantle common-sense requirements that EPA has developed based on other federal clean air standards and highly cost-effective state programs in leading oil and gas-producing states like Colorado and Wyoming,” the groups said in a statement. 

“We look forward to vigorously defending the legal merits of these vital safeguards for our public health and climate.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Clean Air Council, Earthworks and Environmental Integrity Project signed on to the court filing. 

The EPA in May released new limits on methane pollution from new natural gas and oil sites. The rule is part of an Obama administration effort to cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, by up to 45 percent by 2025. 

In July and August, conservative attorneys general and the oil and gas industry sued over the rule. They argue it threatens drilling jobs and is unnecessary, given industry efforts to reduce methane emissions without federal regulation.