During the January 30 Railroad Commission Meeting, Commissioners took up agenda item 709: Potential referral to the Office of the Attorney General for challenge of the EPA’s final methane rule, “Standards of Performance for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources and Emissions Guidelines for Existing Sources: Oil and Natural Gas Sector Climate Review.”

A spotlight on the actions during that meeting follows (the complete RRC HillCo Report with more details can be found towards the end of this Advisory in the reports section):

  • Includes new source performance standards for methane and emission guidelines for states to follow.
  • Rule imposes new standards and finalizes the EPA’s super emitter program where 3rd parties will be allowed to monitor and report methane leaks to the EPA
  • The language of the rule indicates that it will be effective 60 days after it has been published to the Texas Register.
  • Adrian Shelly – We don’t understand why the railroad commission would challenge this rule.
  • Elizabeth Lieberknecht, Environmental Defense Fund – EPA’s rule will reduce energy waste and keep America’s energy competitive in a global market. EPA’s rule will also protect millions of Texans and help address climate change. Leading operators show that significant reductions of wasteful methane emissions are possible, cost effective, spurt innovation in methane monitoring technologies, and capture product that would otherwise be emitted to harm of our communities.
  • Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas – Critical to take steps to reduce pollution. The methane rule will prevent up to 1500 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks. Railroad commission needs to get out of the way and let EPA do its job.
  • Wayne Christian – To say we have sat back and done nothing is inaccurate
  • Craddick – Move to approve staff’s recommendations
    • Motion passes