EPA official previews draconian restrictions here

Regional Administrator Nance holds roundtable with Pfluger, Landgarf, Sparks and others Friday.

Hosting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Administrator Earthea Nance of Dallas at a roundtable discussion Friday in Midland, Congressman August Pfluger said afterward that Nance’s plan to declare the Permian Basin an ozone non-attainment area would be a serious impediment to the region’s energy industry.

“I had urged Dr. Nance to visit the region to hear from industry and community leaders who would be impacted by a redesignation,” Pfluger, a San Angelo Republican who represents the Basin, said Saturday. “The EPA’s threat to redesignate the Permian Basin as a non-attainment area for ozone is a move that would severely hamper oil and gas production in the region.”

Nance and the congressman were joined at the noon confab in the Chase Bank building in downtown Midland by State Rep. Brooks Landgraf of Odessa, State Sen. Kevin Sparks, Midland Mayor Lori Blong and numerous area energy producers and stakeholders.

“Permian Basin energy producers continue to reduce emissions while increasing production to fuel our country and decrease our allies’ reliance on energy from foreign adversaries,” Pfluger said. “The redesignation of an ozone non-attainment area would harm our economy, stifle innovation and steal the livelihoods of the hardworking men and women of our community.

“This visit was a crucial step in letting the world know that the Permian Basin fuels the world.”

Nance said she appreciated Pfluger’s invitation to visit the Basin, see an oil and gas production site and speak with stakeholders.

“As regional administrator I have made it a priority to meet with as many communities as possible and hear their concerns to ensure that everyone benefits from Clean Air Act protections,” Nance said. “My staff and I are committed to continuing our work with Congressman Pfluger, the State of Texas, regulated industry and community stakeholders as we consider how best to do this in the Permian Basin.

“It’s especially fitting that this visit took place during the same week that the new methane rule went into effect, benefiting the people living and working here in the Permian Basin and throughout our country. The rule will sharply reduce methane and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry, promote the use of cutting-edge methane detection technologies and deliver significant economic and public health benefits.”