CLIMATE CHANGE/INTERIOR/OBAMA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration has finished rewriting an Obama administration rule on methane pollution from oil and gas wells on public lands — but the new version of the Waste Prevention Rule is likely to be just as controversial as the original. The rewritten rule will eliminate complicated and expensive regulations for the companies that operate on federal land, the Interior Department said, but environmental groups blasted the change as harmful to the environment, noting that methane is a far more powerful contributor to climate change than carbon dioxide, the most commonly emitted greenhouse gas. Within hours of the administration’s announcement, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced he would challenge the rewritten rule in court. The matter has been tied up in various federal courts since the Obama administration finalized its version in 2016. The current version of the rule allows oil operations on public lands to release or burn — known as venting or flaring — gas from the wells. Venting and flaring is done for a variety of reasons as part of the extraction process. The Obama administration had called for requiring producers to capture rather than waste those gases, and would charge royalties.”

Gregory Wallace, “Trump administration rewrites Obama-era rule for potent greenhouse gas,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, September 18, 2018 9:36 pm