11.30.21

Lankford, Oklahoma Delegation Urge EPA to Extend Comment Period for Harmful Methane Rule Proposal

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) along with Representatives Kevin Hern (OK-01), Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Frank Lucas (OK-03), Tom Cole (OK-04), and Stephanie Bice (OK-05) sent a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Michael Regan, urging him to extend the public comment period by 60-days for the EPA’s proposed rule to directly regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.   

 The delegation wrote, “Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry is vital to our economy, as it supports an estimated nearly 400,000 high-paying jobs across the state and generates billions of dollars in economic growth and tax revenue for the state and federal government. The proposed rule would unquestionably have a significant and wide-ranging impact on oil and gas businesses, most of whom are small businesses, who employ thousands of Oklahomans directly as well as indirectly.” 

They continued: “We believe the current public comment period deadline of January 14, 2022 is insufficient in providing our constituents impacted by this sweeping regulatory proposal with enough time to thoroughly review and issue better informed comments.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below. 

Dear Administrator Regan,

 As members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation, we urge the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend the public comment period by 60-days for the EPA’s proposed rule to directly regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. We believe the current public comment period deadline of January 14, 2022 is insufficient in providing our constituents impacted by this sweeping regulatory proposal with enough time to thoroughly review and issue better informed comments. The complexity of EPA’s proposal, coupled with the upcoming holiday season, provide ample justification for a 60-day extension of the comment period to March 15, 2022. 

Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry is vital to our economy, as it supports an estimated nearly 400,000 high-paying jobs across the state and generates billions of dollars in economic growth and tax revenue for the state and federal government. The proposed rule would unquestionably have a significant and wide-ranging impact on oil and gas businesses, most of whom are small businesses, who employ thousands of Oklahomans directly as well as indirectly. Also, at a time when Americans are paying more for energy to heat their homes and power their cars and trucks, it would be a mistake to move forward with this proposal, let alone a proposal that is not fully understood and would lead to further increased costs to consumers across the nation. 

We believe extending the public comment period by 60-days is in the best interest of EPA and the regulated community, and appreciate your consideration of this request. We look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

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