The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said April 19 it would reconsider a rule on emissions from oil and gas operations and delay its implementation.
Oil interest groups, including the American Petroleum Institute and the Texas Oil and Gas Association, had petitioned the EPA in April 2016 to reconsider the rule limiting emissions of the greenhouse gas methane and other pollutants from new and revamped oil and gas operations.
The EPA said in a release it would delay the rule's compliance date, which had been June 3, for 90 days, as the agency took public comments on it.
The move signaled another retreat from climate change action after the Trump administration in March halted an effort to gather methane data from existing oil and gas operations to rein in leaks of the greenhouse gas.
Last month, President Donald Trump, a Republican, signed a far-reaching order to undo climate regulations, following up on a campaign promise to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden has stated that he does not want to ban fracking outright. However, his climate plan includes banning new oil and gas permits on public lands
"I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again. I am not banning fracking, no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me," Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said during a speech in western Pennsylvania on Aug. 31.
The BLM auction on Aug. 27 of 93 land parcels covering more than 45,000 acres in New Mexico plus one parcel in Texas attracted far less interest from oil and gas drillers than recent sales in the region.