Flame rises from the tip of a skeletal tower.

Enlarge / In some cases, stray methane is burned to limit how much escapes into the atmosphere. (credit: Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

The Trump administration today announced a new proposal to reverse Obama-era regulations that limit how much methane, a potent greenhouse gas, the oil and natural gas industries are allowed to emit.

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed amendments would "remove unnecessary regulatory duplication" put into place in 2016, according to a press release. The proposals made today are separate from and in addition to a 2018 proposed rule that eased methane reporting and monitoring requirements for oil- and gas-extraction businesses.

The proposed plan (PDF) would "rescind emissions limits for methane from the production and processing segments of the industry," the EPA says. The proposal would also remove parts of the transmission and storage segments of the oil and gas industry⁠—generally called the midstream business⁠—from being subject to regulation, by claiming the agency was out of line when it added sources such as transmission compressor stations, pneumatic controllers, and underground storage vessels to the rule.

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