EPA Rules Unwarranted, Pose Direct Threat to Energy Security

AUSTIN – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a series of new rules that are out of touch with Texas programs that are dramatically reducing air emissions in the state, even as oil and natural gas production levels soar, according to Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA).  TXOGA will testify today at a public hearing related to proposed EPA rules in Dallas, TX.

“As proposed, these rules reflect a misguided approach that adds layers of costs and regulations without a commensurate public benefit,” said Staples.  “To put it simply, the cost far outweighs the gain and the public – the very people EPA is purporting to represent – will ultimately pay the price in the form of higher energy costs.”

“We can do better,” he said.  “We can embrace technology without heavy-handed, costly regulations.”

The Texas oil and natural gas industry is investing in technologies that are working to reduce emissions.  “EPA’s proposed methane rules will siphon investments away from proven technologies without achieving meaningful emission reductions,” said Staples. “EPA’s new rules amount to little more than very expensive record-keeping and reporting, requirements that hit small operators and their employees especially hard.”  In North Texas alone, oil and natural gas operators have reduced methane emissions by 37 percent since 2011, according to EPA data.  Again, according to EPA data, methane emissions from fracking have decreased by 73 percent from 2011 to 2013.

“Taken together, EPA’s new methane, ozone and carbon rules are counterproductive and reveal the perils of politically-motivated rulemaking,” said Staples.  For example, according to EPA, natural gas is a critical component to achieving the goals of the Clean Power Plan.  At the same time, EPA is pursuing methane and ozone rules that will significantly impede the state’s ability to produce oil and natural gas. “This type of regulatory circle speak threatens jobs, increases families’ energy costs, and forces continued reliance on countries like Russia and Iran for our energy needs – just as we are cementing our energy independence,” he said.