The Biden administration this week proposed new rules aimed at limiting methane leaks from oil and gas drilling on federal lands.
The proposal, released Monday by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, would limit gas flaring on federal lands and require energy companies to better detect methane leaks.
The proposal follows another plan announced by Biden at a global climate conference in Egypt earlier this month. The Nov. 11 proposal targets the oil and gas industry for what the administration says is its role in global warming.
Monday’s proposal would prevent billions of cubic feet of natural gas from being wasted through venting, flaring and leaks, increasing efficiency while reducing pollution, administration officials said. The rule would impose monthly limits on flaring and charge fees for flaring that exceeds those limits.
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“This proposed rule will bring our regulations in line with the technological advancements the industry has made in the decades since the BLM rules were put in place, while providing a fair return to taxpayers,” the secretary said. ‘Inside Deb Haaland in a statement.
“No one likes to waste the natural resources of our public lands. This proposed rule is a common sense and environmentally friendly solution as we address the damage caused by the waste of natural gas. It places the American taxpayer at the forefront and ensures producers pay appropriate royalties,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning.
The BLM will accept comments on the proposed rule until early February, with a final rule expected next year.
President Biden has had a hostile relationship with the oil industry since taking office in January 2021. Despite insisting earlier this month that there is “no more drilling,” the President urged energy producers to drill more oil to drive down prices at the pump.
Biden also accused oil companies of “war profiteering” and raised the possibility of imposing a windfall tax on energy companies if they fail to increase domestic production.
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It comes as the administration eased oil sanctions on Venezuela — including allowing oil giant Chevron to expand operations there — in exchange for the Venezuelan government and its opposition resuming talks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.