On January 22, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed new regulations to “reduce waste of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaking during oil and natural gas production activities on onshore Federal and Indian leases.”
The proposed regulations have been designed to serve energy and climate policy objectives as well as the public interest by purporting to reduce the detrimental effects of methane emissions on federal and tribal lands.
More precisely, BLM would require the oil and gas industry to use the latest available technologies and equipment to reduce the amount of venting and flaring during production operations. It would also require periodic well inspections to prevent potential and future leakage incidents.
In a press release, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell declared that it has become necessary to “modernize decades-old standards to reflect existing technologies so that we can cut down on harmful methane emissions and use this captured natural gas to generate power and provide a return to taxpayers, tribes and states for this public resources.”
The public will have 60 days to submit comments on the proposed regulations once it is published in the Federal Register.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow