Landgraf: EPA backs down in Permian fight

Landgraf leads a protest of the EPA’s proposed policy on Sept. 15, 2022, with oil and gas workers and Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan in attendance. (COURTESY PHOTO)

State Rep. Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, was informed late Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now backing off of its plans to indirectly restrict Texas oil and natural gas production through a non-attainment designation of portions of the Texas Permian Basin.

“This is a massive win for the Permian Basin, Texas, the United States, and anywhere else where people need energy and love freedom,” Landgraf said in a news release. “There were reports that the EPA was going to indirectly shut down the Permian Basin without any air monitoring data from Texas. Thankfully, we have leaders in this state who are willing to step up and fight when a bully shows up.”

In June of 2021, citing data obtained from air quality monitors in New Mexico, the EPA announced its intention to consider redesignating the Texas portion of the Permian Basin as a “non-attainment” area – an area that does not meet the standards of the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). If finalized, this proposal would have resulted in further regulatory burdens on the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin that could slow production, reduce supply and cut jobs. For reasons that have not yet been made public, on Wednesday the EPA omitted the policy from its agenda of planned regulations, deeming the measure inactive.

“Governor Abbott, Congressman Pfluger and Speaker Phelan were all with us every step of the way, fighting and pushing back on the EPA however we could,” Landgraf continued. “We rallied forces in Odessa to call attention to the issue back in September, and have been hounding the EPA constantly since the day they made their plans known.”

“This is a huge victory for Texas and our goal of national energy independence. I’m proud to have been engaged in this important fight.”