TXOGA excoriates methane rule, LNG ban

Biden, EPA acted contrary to national interests, Staples says

A flare burns off excess natural gas Friday, April 8, 2022, in Midland, Texas. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

The Texas Oil & Gas Association has come down hard in its criticism of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a new rule on methane emissions and in support of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee’s recent hearing in Port Arthur on the Biden administration’s pause of liquified natural gas export permit approvals.

TXOGA President Todd Staples said from Austin that the oil and natural gas industry has for years worked to meaningfully reduce methane emissions.

“It is vital that any action taken by the EPA support these successful efforts and not stifle them,” Staples said. “We are considering options for both bringing consistency and clarity to the final rule and pursuing the best mechanism to address implementation challenges.

“Industry remains committed to building upon its already immense progress in protecting and improving the environment while responsibly producing irreplaceable oil and natural gas to provide the affordable, reliable energy that literally fuels modern life.”

Staples said flaring intensity fell by 46 percent nationally from 2012-21 and that methane emissions have declined by more than 75 percent since 2011 in the Permian Basin where operators are capturing 99.8 percent of the natural gas that’s produced for beneficial uses.

He said emissions dropped from 2018-22 by 44 percent in the Anadarko Basin in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, 32 percent in the Permian Basin and 18 percent in the Gulf Coast Basin.

Staples commended the House Energy and Commerce Committee for conducting the hearing in which witnesses “described the negative impacts on local communities of the Biden administration’s decision to halt approval of LNG projects as well as how the decision bolsters hostile nations and threatens U.S. and global security.

“Witnesses also outlined the many positive contributions of the LNG industry to local communities, their workforce, education and the economy,” he said. “We agree that the LNG industry in Texas is essential to the success of local communities, our state’s position as a global energy leader and meeting ever-growing energy demands around the world.”

U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, who represents the Permian Basin, is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington.