Wyoming & Montana Oppose BLM Ruling

by Elizabeth Alford on December 5, 2016

More states are pushing back against federal overreach of oil and gas activities by the Bureau of Land Management.

Related: BLM: New Flaring Regulations Proposed

Wyoming and Montana have petitioned for a review of the latest BLM ruling published in November, which imposes air quality regulations and seeks compensation and royalties for any oil and gas lost in these practices. State official believe that the BLM is overstepping its authority and argue oil and gas activity should be regulated by individual state laws.

“I understand why the state is putting regulations on venting and flaring, but it’s just one more restriction on oil companies that ties their hands,” said Randy Taylor, of Baker, Montana, who has been part of the oil production stage for approximately two decades. “With the venting and flaring systems they put on, within 20 to 30 years they are not even making enough gas to flare off our vents. Until that point, the BLM is trying to regulate it so we can only flare so many MCF per day. At that point, we have to slow oil production to limit flaring.”

The Clean Air Act specifically delegates authority to the EPA to control emissions from new and existing oil and gas production facilities. The petition accuses the BLM of trying to impose its own regulations on oil and gas operations under the guise of waste prevention. Congress specifically delegated authority to regulate air pollution to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The ruling is set to take effect on January 17, 2017.

Read more about the ruling at federalregister.gov

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