Railroad Commissioners Warn Against Federal Overreach of Proposed Methane Emission Rules on Oil and Gas Operations

Proposed Rules Would Unfairly Burden Operators; Cost Texas Jobs

December 08, 2015

AUSTINRailroad Commission Chairman David Porter and Commissioners Christi Craddick and Ryan Sitton today warned against further federal overreach of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules on methane emissions for oil and gas operators. The Commission recently submitted formal comments on the proposed rules, highlighting the overreach of regulation by the federal government, the unnecessary cost to oil and gas operators, and the likelihood additional costs would stifle innovation and jobs in the industry.

Chairman Porter said, “These rules are another attempt by the federal government to take over regulation of our state’s oil and gas industry. Texas has regulated this important industry in a robust and responsible manner for almost a century. These regulations are unnecessary and over-burdensome and will only impede industry, damage our economy and kill the jobs Texans rely on to support their families.”

Commissioner Craddick said, “While production has increased by more than 400 percent, responsible drilling initiatives and technologies have led to a 13.3 percent reduction in methane emissions from shale development since 2008. EPA’s recent onerous proposal for duplicative, costly methane regulations will stifle the progress made as a direct result of industry initiatives already in place. We know that while good rules foster growth, poorly conceived policies stymie growth. This new proposal certainly fits the mold of EPA’s repeated attempts to repress our nation’s leadership in fossil fuel production.”

Commissioner Sitton said, “The Railroad Commission knows how to regulate the oil and gas industry in Texas, and our sister agency, the TCEQ, does an excellent job of regulating air quality in Texas.  The federal government’s continued push to implement one-size-fits-all environmental regulatory approaches is absurd.  States need to retain their primary jurisdiction, and federal agencies should stop usurping congressional power by promulgating rules that go beyond their statutory authority.” 

The Commissioners’ statements follow discussion of the proposed methane emission rules during their regularly scheduled conference earlier today.

To read the comments submitted by the Commission, please CLICK HERE and HERE.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.