Carper Decries Interior’s Decision to Weaken Methane and Waste Prevention Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after the Department of Interior issued a final rule that weakens the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. This follows the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to weaken methane emission standards under the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that Senator Carper spoke out against.

“The Trump Administration just won’t stop putting polluters over public health. Without reducing emissions and leaks during oil and gas production, methane that could otherwise be captured for energy will remain a major contributor to climate change and toxic smog pollution. And, to add insult to our collective injury, if the energy lost is on public lands, taxpayers lose out on potential royalties. Put simply, today’s decision to weaken protections that prevent methane and natural gas waste on public lands hurts air quality, our environment and our nation’s economy. Instead of trying to address climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime, this administration is implementing bad policy like this that actually accelerates its effects.   

“Today’s decision is disheartening. It flies in the face of the obligation we have as a country to not only protect our environment and public health, but also to maintain our competitiveness in the global economy.  It also flies in the face of action taken by the Senate last year to support the underlying regulations. The Trump Administration must end its attacks on environmental protection laws. We owe it to our children and future generations to get this right.”


  • On September 11, 2018, Senator Carper voiced opposition to the proposal to weaken methane emission standards.
  • In April 2018, Senators Carper and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)  sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt opposing EPA’s proposal to withdraw the 2016 Control Techniques Guidelines for the oil and gas industry. Earlier that week Senators Carper and Bennet wrote to Administrator Neomi Rao of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to request a meeting on the proposal.  
  • In April 2018, Senator Carper joined members of the House and Senate to Secretary Zinke opposing the Bureau of Land Management’s proposal to reverse its Methane and Waste Prevention Rule.
  • In November 2017, Senator Carper along with House and Senate colleagues wrote to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letter opposing the suspension of the BLM’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. 
  • In September 2017, Senator Carper helped lead a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to fully enforce the agency’s methane pollution rule.
  • In April 2017, Senator Carper led Senate Democrats pressing Administrator Pruitt on withdrawal of EPA’s information request on methane emissions.