HELENA, Mont. (Legal Newsline) — Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced Nov. 18 that he joined Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael in a lawsuit against the newly finalized U.S. Bureau of Land Management rule that creates allegedly duplicative regulation of methane gas venting and flaring on federal land.
The rule is called the “Methane Waste Prevention
Rule” and exists as part of the Federal Land Policy and
Management Act (FLPMA), the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act (FOGRMA)
and the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA).
Fox and Michael’s lawsuit alleges that BLM
does not have congressional authorization to create rules of this kind. The
lawsuit seeks court declaration that the rule is legally invalid.
“The bottom line is, BLM has
exceeded its legal authority with this rule, and is yet another example of the
Obama administration pushing the envelope to see how much they can get away
with before leaving office,” Fox said.
if BLM had the authority to adopt this rule, it would have negligible
environmental benefit, as it does little more than duplicate existing state
standards for methane venting and flaring, while adding additional cost to
industry by creating even more compliance requirements.”