Colorado AG joins in defense of methane rule

Phil Weiser

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser joined in a multi-state effort to defend federal regulations on methane emissions from oil and natural gas development.

“Colorado worked hard, creatively and collaboratively to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas development,” Weiser said. “The common sense solutions forged in Colorado were supported by industry, government and conservation groups as an effective means of ensuring responsible energy development and protecting air quality and public health. These protections must remain in place at the federal level for effective oversight of methane emissions from surrounding states. That’s why we are committed to defending the federal methane rule.”

Weiser joined a multi-state coalition in filing a motion to intervene in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to defend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oil and gas methane rule. In filing the motion, Weiser joined the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin as well as and the District of Columbia.

A total of 26 states, led by the attorneys general of Texas and Oklahoma, are suing to roll back methane emissions standards.

The EPA rule strengthens regulations of methane emissions from new, modified and reconstructed facilities in the oil and natural gas sector as well as existing facilities in this sector.

Weiser said the coalition expressed strong support for the final EPA rule, which will:

Require oil and gas well sites, centralized production facilities and compressor stations to be routinely monitored for leaks.

Phase out flaring of natural gas from new oil wells.

Set emissions standards for certain pieces of equipment not previously covered by the 2016 rule.

Set guidelines for states to follow as they develop plans for establishing, implementing and enforcing emission standards.

Create a program that leverages third-party expertise to find large leaks and releases.