The AP article run by your paper on September 18th regarding the decision by the Trump Administration to repeal reasonable regulation of methane emissions on public lands missed many critical points.
First, the article missed the fact that the 2016 rule was based upon a stronger policy implemented in Colorado in 2014, where research has shown that the majority of oil and gas companies have found these requirements to be very cost effective. The article also overlooks that across the country, and especially here in Wyoming, there is a thriving industry of companies that are working closely with oil and gas producers to capture waste in a cost-effective manner. This makes sense because methane is the primary component of natural gas, so every leak captured is more product for producers to sell. This is a win-win for the state, reducing harmful pollution all while supporting the economy by creating high-paying jobs.
Secondly, the article made no mention of the significant loss in revenue citizens of Wyoming will experience because of the Trump Administration’s repeal. Because much of Wyoming’s oil and gas production occurs on public lands, the wasted gas costs Wyoming taxpayers dearly. Each year, more than $42 million worth of Wyoming natural gas is wasted on the state’s federal and tribal lands.
Luckily, the state under Governor Mead is stepping forward to ensure methane waste standards remain in place. Forward thinking leaders realize efforts to limit waste and create good-paying jobs in a growing industry are smart policy.
ISAAC BROWN, Center for Methane Emissions Solutions, Washington, D.C.