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Coastal Desk

Trump Rolls Back Methane Emissions Rule — To Mixed Reaction In Louisiana

David Grunfeld
/ |The Times-Picayune
Big companies, including Shell, issued statements saying they supported the stricter regulations, but the rule was rolled back anyway.

The Trump Administration has rolled back a rule that restricts methane emissions from oil and gas refineries.

The Obama-era rule went into effect in 2016, and was intended to curb climate change by 2025 by requiring industry to reduce the release of the greenhouse gas. Louisiana was one of a handful of states that sued the government over the rules. Now the state won’t have to enforce them. An official with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said the agency is still figuring out how the rollback will change state regulations.

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said, “These rollbacks would have devastating effects on our climate and air quality, and will disproportionately damage the well-being of...many Americans in our most vulnerable communities.”

But according to reporting by NPR, several oil and gas companies have issued statements saying they oppose the roll-backs and will reduce their emissions anyway.

Eric Smith, associate director of the Tulane Energy Institute, said the rules created an advantage for big companies that could afford to implement them, like Shell, BP and the Exxon Mobil Corporation.

“They’re saying that they can handle the rules, that the rules are a good idea,” he said. “They can afford those rules.”

The smaller operators , on the other hand, he said could not.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.

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