Kristina Baum (EPW) – 202.224.6176
Donelle Harder (EPW) – 202.224.4721
Michael Tadeo (ENR) – 202.224.5810

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today led Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, and Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), in a letter to President Obama opposing new federal mandates regulating methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector:

"Simply stated, the evidence is clear that these mandatory reductions are unnecessary and will be less effective than a voluntary, cooperative effort. Greater federal regulatory burdens will complicate ongoing state efforts to reduce emissions, slow domestic energy production, and, in this instance, possibly trigger even costlier and more far-reaching rules on the sector. We therefore request that you put your proposal aside, and that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) postpone indefinitely proposed mandates for new and modified oil and gas sources,” the Senators said in the letter.

In the letter, the Senators cited EPA’s previous report showing a decline in methane emissions and a lack of need for new federal mandates. “The success of the oil and natural gas industry in reducing methane emissions is well-documented. In its most recent greenhouse gas emissions inventory, EPA reported that, between 2011 and 2013, methane emissions declined by 12 percent; for hydraulically fractured wells, emissions dropped by 73 percent. Estimates from academic and industry sources have reached similar conclusions.”

On March 20, Inhofe introduced S. 828, The Fracturing Regulations are Effective in State Hands (FRESH) Act, which would recognize hydraulic fracturing as a commercial practice and keep regulations under state management.

On February 12, Inhofe introduced S. 490, the Federal Land Freedom Act of 2015, which would give states the authority to establish programs to lease, permit, and regulate the development of all forms of energy resources, including renewables, on federal lands within their border.

To view the letter, click here.