The lack of regulatory certainty that bedeviled the oil and gas industry during the Obama administration continues in the Trump administration in the area of methane emissions, though taking a different path—now the rules that were put into effect are being rolled back.

If the rollback of methane emission limits in the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in late August, appears to immediately simplify regulatory compliance, well, not so much. The proposal is subject to public comment for 60 days following publication, and when it likely goes into effect, a slew of opponents will almost certainly sue EPA to rescind the rule.

Then there is the intra-family feud in the oil and gas industry over the latest action.

“There are folks within the oil and gas industry on both sides of the fence on this particular rulemaking,” Ben Rhem, Austin, Texas-based partner with Jackson Walker, told “There are some that just want to move forward with the rules as they are and not make those changes. There are others that think that the methane emissions requirements are burdensome and intrusive.”

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