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A Coalition Of States Is Suing The EPA

West Virginia is leading a coalition of 13 states that have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. The suit is over the agency’s rules for oil and gas, which the suit calls a job-killing attack on industry employees.

The states have filed the suit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The suit calls for the court to review the agency’s rules on methane emissions from wells that make use of hydraulic fracturing.

The states have taken the position that the EPA’s rules will hike the costs of production and distribution of oil and gas, which will in turn result in higher energy bills for consumers; and that the rules could mean future regulations and industry limitations from the Obama administration.

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On Tuesday, Patrick Morrisey, the Attorney General for West Virginia stated: “This is yet another example of unlawful federal overreach jeopardizing West Virginia jobs and working families. The rules are a solution in search of a problem and ignore the industry’s success in voluntarily reducing methane emissions from these sources to a 30-year low.”

For its part, the EPA holds that the regulations will cost $530 billion by the year 2025, while adding that the benefits will outweigh the cost. According to the agency, the climate benefits will be approximately $690 million.

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Gina McCarthy, the administrator for the agency commented: “The actions we’re announcing today will help combat climate change, it will reduce air pollution that directly harms public health, and it will make sure that the oil and gas industry can continue to operate safely and responsibly as a vital source of energy for Americans across the country.” An article in the Wall Street Journal suggested that the cost may be closer to $800 million.

In July, North Dakota filed a suit against the agency over its rules for methane emissions. In its suit, the state called the rules “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law.”

Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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