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At Oil-Friendly States’ Behest, Pruitt Cancels EPA Methane Emissions Inquiry

(COMMON DREAMS) Nika Knight, March 6, 2017 — Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday fulfilled environmentalists’ fears with a gift to the oil and gas industry, in the form of canceling an Obama-era request for information regarding methane emissions from fossil fuel facilities.

“This is exactly the kind of climate recklessness we can expect more of from Trump’s EPA […] making it clear that oil and gas executives have this agency in the palms of their hands.”
—May Boeve, 350.org
The cancellation followed a letter (pdf) sent to Pruitt on Wednesday from 11 attorneys general of pro-oil states, who spoke solely to industry concerns when they demanded that the EPA administrator revoke the request they described as “burdensome” and “onerous.”

“We hope that the burdensome Obama climate rules never see the light of day, which is why we ask that this Information Collection Request be suspended and withdrawn,” the attorneys general of Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Arizona, Alabama, Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Mississippi wrote.

Pruitt, who has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry and as Oklahoma attorney general sued the EPA no less than 14 times, swiftly acquiesced.

“This appalling decision shows how quickly Pruitt is turning the EPA into an oil industry vending machine,” Center for Biological Diversity attorney Vera Pardee said in a statement, according to Scientific American. “Just one day after oil-friendly state governments complain about efforts to collect methane pollution data, out pops this cancellation. […] The Trump administration doesn’t want this data because it doesn’t want to rein in oil companies’ massive emissions of this dangerous greenhouse gas.”

Source: At Oil-Friendly States’ Behest, Pruitt Cancels EPA Methane Emissions Inquiry | Common Dreams