Republican States Lose Motion to Stay New Methane Emissions Rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has denied a request from Republican states to stay the new rules on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry while the red states fight the new regulations in court.

The court on Tuesday didn’t grant the Republican states’ motion to stay as the petitioners did not meet the rules for a stay of the new regulations.

In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule to strengthen, expand, and update methane emissions reporting requirements for petroleum and natural gas systems.

Texas and other two dozen Republican states have since March sued the U.S. Administration to prevent an expansion of authority by the EPA by means of a rule aimed at regulating methane and other emissions from sources in the oil and natural gas industry.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that the rule usurps the states’ role in establishing emissions standards for existing sources and establishes new guidelines that mirror the Federal standards for new sources.

“The EPA is once again trying to seize regulatory authority that Congress has not granted,” said Attorney General Paxton. “I am challenging this blatant overreach by the Biden Administration and will continue to defend vital sectors of the Texas economy.”

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, leading a group of 24 state attorneys general, also challenged the rule in court in March, saying that “The Biden Administration’s methane emissions rule is a blatant attack on America’s oil and gas industry.”

These states filed in April a motion to stay the rule while the court battles are ongoing.

The petitioners argued in the request that “Without a stay, the States will suffer several forms of irreparable harm,” including unrecoverable economic harm. Beyond direct compliance costs, the rule imposes other costs, and some entities operating regulated facilities are anticipated to close because of the rule’s additional burdens, the petitioners had argued.


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