As we reported earlier, the Obama Administration promulgated a regulation restricting the emissions of methane from oil and gas operations on federal public lands. Efforts to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn that regulation failed last month. Now the Interior Department is delaying compliance with certain provisions of the rule indefinitely, citing pending litigation over the rule. (The specific provision is The Federal Register notice with the proposal is here (pdf). The delay may prompt litigation challenging the delayed compliance, on top of the ongoing litigation over the underlying rule itself (industry and some states challenged the rule as exceeding the authority of the Bureau of Land Management). In addition, the Interior Department is also indicating it will seek to delay or eliminate other provisions of the rule through separate rulemaking.
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