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.
“Even 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.”