Austin, Texas – Today, Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), testified before the Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Economic Development on the excessive regulatory overreach of federal agencies and the impact on the oil and natural gas industry, economy and consumers. The interim legislative hearing addressed the potential challenges Texas faces implementing federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, including, but not limited to the Clean Power Plan, Reduction of Methane & Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from oil and gas facilities, Ozone standards, Regional Haze, and other federal rules.
Longanecker’s testimony on Wednesday focused on the broad overreach of federal agencies and dozens of new and proposed regulations facing the oil and gas industry, including the EPA’s new methane regulations seeking to reduce emissions from new and modified oil and gas wells.
“The U.S. oil and natural gas industry is already one of the most heavily regulated sectors in the United States, yet in recent years our industry has been inundated with a multitude of new and proposed regulations at the federal level, many of which have been a result of efforts by the White House to push their Climate Action Plan,” said Longanecker.
Meanwhile, a recent report from ICF International (ICF), which reviewed 75 pieces of scientific literature on U.S. methane emissions published over the past five years, concluded that methane emissions from the natural gas industry are sharply decreasing. This decline is primarily related to voluntary actions from operators, including investment of more than $217 billion in greenhouse gas mitigating technologies by U.S. oil and natural gas companies between 2000-2014.
Despite this information and the significant progress made by industry in reducing emissions, the EPA has moved forward with comprehensive methane regulations that will dramatically impact the oil and natural gas industry, consumers and the economy. According to the EPA, the cost of the final methane rule seeking to reduce emissions from new and modified oil and gas wells is expected to exceed $530 million per year by the year 2025, which is a conservative projection according to calculations showing the total cost to be nearly five times the original estimate.
“With study after study, including EPA’s own data, finding low and declining emissions, it becomes evident that these regulations are a solution in search of a problem, and in my opinion, represent an effort to control, tax and regulate more areas of the private economy, and more directly to slow or stop the development of hydrocarbons in our country. These regulations will be devastating to an industry that support all aspects of our local, state and national economy, leading to further job losses, lower tax revenue and higher energy costs for consumers,” added Longanecker.
As a result of the consistent overreach from the federal government, TIPRO has expanded its focus in the judicial arena to challenge the growing list of unnecessary regulations facing the oil and gas industry, as well as some of the many frivolous lawsuits targeting the sector. “The state of Texas has the right model in place. State regulators and policymakers, not the federal government, have far more experience and expertise with oil and natural gas activities in Texas, and are much better equipped to adopt progressive, impactful, yet sensible regulations for the protection of our environment and benefit of Texas citizens,” concluded Longanecker.