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Texas Alliance of Energy Producers comments on EPA's proposed changes to regulation of methane leaks

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Oilfield Technology,

The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (TAEP) supports the EPA's efforts to review and repair the over reaching federal regulation on methane leaks in the oil patch said John Tintera, President of TAEP. We support Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler's efforts to "alleviate unnecessary and duplicative red tape," and reduce compliance costs for the oil and gas industry.

Tintera, a veteran of multiple pollution remediation and emergency responses, noted that "methane is natural gas, virtually the same gas that we cook and heat our homes with every day. It is a very common gas emitted by wetlands and livestock. It is a by-product of life itself."

While all agree that oil field methane leaks should be detected and fixed, the heavy handed federal regulations were punitive, costly, and decidedly unfair to the small independent producer. The inclusion of stripper wells with marginal gas production and very low volumes and pressures are one example of this unfair federal regulatory scheme put in place over the objections of the Alliance and other industry groups.

The previous federal rule required that wells and associated equipment, like compressor stations, be tested for leaks twice a year irregardless of the throughput. The proposed changes would reduce that to either once a year or once every other year, depending on the type of well. The changes reportedly would also eliminate the requirement to test for leaks in some cases when production equipment has been removed.

The Alliance will comment on this rule and seek to ensure stripper wells are exempted from this burdensome regulation.

Alliance Chairman Jim Beck states, "Federal methane regulations are an example of some of the most problematic national regulations imposed on Texas oil fields. The current effort to return science, solid facts, and due process to methane regulation is good to see, but the work to reduce federal over-regulation on this and other topics must continue."

"The Alliance has stood opposed to this and other federal over-regulation, and will continue to demand science, fact, and due process be fairly applied prior to implementation of heavy handed federal regulatory efforts," Tintera said.

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