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American Energy Trade Groups Recommend Improvements to BLM Waste Prevention Proposed Rule

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WASHINGTON, January 30, 2023 – The American Petroleum Institute today joined with the American Exploration & Production Council (“AXPC”), the Alaska Oil & Gas Association, the Montana Petroleum Association, the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association and the North Dakota Petroleum Council in submitting comments on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Proposed Rule on Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation. 

In the comments, the Associations reiterated the U.S. natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to working with BLM toward a safe, practical, and effective rule within the boundaries of BLM’s waste prevention authority. The Associations also commended BLM for their streamlined approach to the proposed rulemaking and for providing flexibility with leak detection and repair (LDAR) efforts, which allows for continued development of innovative technology to better detect and reduce methane emissions. However, the letter raised concerns with several legal and practical aspects of the proposed rule, including duplication of regulatory efforts already being undertaken by other federal agencies.

“The U.S. natural gas and oil industry is working to meet growing energy demand with the responsible development of federal lands and remains committed to advancing the development, testing, and utilization of new technologies and operational practices to better understand, detect, and further mitigate emissions of natural gas during oil and gas exploration and production activities,” said API Vice President of Upstream Policy Cole Ramsey. “We look forward to working with BLM on a final rule that satisfies its waste prevention obligations while recognizing the technical innovations and steps our industry has taken, and other agencies are undertaking, to address methane emissions.”

In the comments, the Associations provided a series of recommendations that would minimize duplication of existing regulatory efforts from other federal agencies with the goal of reaching a final rule that is legally sound, provides regulatory certainty, builds on the progress industry has already made in reducing methane emissions and does not deter continued investment and innovation in the onshore oil and natural gas program.  

“A strong onshore program is essential for ensuring greater energy security for the U.S., and our ability to help our allies globally,” said Ramsey. “We encourage BLM to support U.S. energy security and finalize a rule that is legally sound, affords appropriate flexibility, provides regulatory certainty, and supports a robust onshore oil and gas program.”

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our approximately 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence®, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.


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