WEXFORD, Pa. – Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association President & Executive Director Dan Weaver today (August 14) issued the following statement regarding actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to align the regulation of methane emissions from oil and gas operations with the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act: 

“PIOGA supports today’s announcement by EPA as a practical mechanism to make the control of methane emissions from oil and gas facilities consistent within federal regulations. Reducing methane emissions from every aspect of producing and transporting natural gas is the goal of our industry, as evidenced by the significant decreases made to prevent and reduce fugitive methane releases over the past decade, even while production has increased exponentially. It is in the best interest of Pennsylvania producers to keep methane – the product they sell – from being released into the air.

“EPA’s revised rule will bring particular relief to small oil and gas producers who are a vital part of the economy in many western Pennsylvania counties and who must work hard to compete against larger companies. The previous administration’s rule imposed a one-size-fits-all approach to methane control that required the same controls on low-production wells without adequate justification for imposing the rule on their operations, from the perspective of both costs and environmental benefits. This new rule will be a positive development for our conventional oil and gas industry.

“A comprehensive regulatory program to control volatile organic compounds from oil and natural gas emissions remains in place. These same controls reduce methane emissions with approximately the same degree of efficiency and will continue to reduce methane emissions from new and modified sources of emissions. EPA’s regulatory changes are consistent with the Clean Air Act and remove the threat of unwarranted and illegal control of existing oil and natural gas sources in the Commonwealth and elsewhere.”

“Regardless of EPA’s action, the Commonwealth is continuing to pursue a much more aggressive approach to reducing emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds from both new and existing oil and gas operations through Governor Wolf’s Methane Reduction Strategy. PIOGA supports regulation that actually improves our air quality while remaining mindful of the competitive realities facing small oil and natural gas producers that are the economic backbone of many of the Commonwealth’s rural communities.”

“The strides made to improve Pennsylvania’s air quality through the increased use of natural gas for electricity production are nothing short of amazing.”