Trump Methane Rollbacks May Spark Litigation, Hinder Greenhouse Gas Regulation

September 14, 2020Article
Bloomberg Law

Greenberg Glusker Environmental attorneys, Noah Perch-Ahern and Marisa Choy penned the article, "Trump Methane Rollbacks May Spark Litigation, Hinder Greenhouse Gas Regulation," for Bloomberg Law, published on September 14, 2020.


The Trump administration’s new final rules governing methane emissions in the oil and gas industry culminate a multi-year process to roll back limitations promulgated toward the end of the Obama administration. Though the rules address new sources, the changes may directly affect EPA regulation of existing sources and other greenhouse gases (GHGs).

The new rules rescind methane-specific emissions limits for the “production and processing” segments of the oil and gas industry, and remove the natural gas “transmission and storage” segment from regulation under the 2012 and 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the Oil and Natural Gas Industry.

The EPA asserts that the Obama regulations failed to make a formal “significant contribution finding” prior to setting performance standards for methane or the transmission and storage “source category.” It said this threshold finding is required prior to regulating any air pollutant that was not considered when the agency first listed or regulated an industry category.

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