Trump Proposes EPA Budget Cuts, Targets Climate, Clean Water Programs

EPA Donald Trump

EPA Donald Trump

The original request, sent to companies in November 2016, required oil and gas producers to provide a broad range of information about their methane emissions and equipment, as well as the feasibility of controls created to limit methane release. This action also comes after the agency received a letter on March 1, 2017, from nine state Attorneys General and the Governors of MS and Kentucky, expressing concern with the pending Information Collection Request for Oil and Gas Facilities. Some of the EPA's most longstanding and best-known programs are facing potential elimination - including initiatives aimed at improving water and air quality as well as a number of regulations tasked with reducing the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.

Pruitt says that removing the reporting request signals that EPA under his leadership takes state concerns seriously and is "committed to strengthening our partnership with the states".

Under former President Obama, officials had asked drillers to give the EPA data about methane emissions and equipment at existing oil and gas wells. Those states say it's a form of government "harassment" to request methane information from companies producing the commodities.

Recently released emails from Pruitts tenure as Oklahoma attorney general reveal his close relationship with the oil and gas industry.

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To accomplish such drastic cuts, EPA would have to "cut some regional offices", cut "all grants to environmental groups for environmental education and other purposes", and "pretty much zero out the climate programs, which Trump is in favor of anyway", Ebell said. "The Trump administration doesn't want this data because it doesn't want to rein in oil companies' massive emissions of this risky greenhouse gas".

Under the previous administration, EPA sent letters to more than 15,000 owners and operators in the oil and gas industry, requiring them to provide information.

"The larger point here is that Administrator Pruitt is saying it's OK for industry to withhold basic information on pollution from oil and gas operations from the American people", he told E&E News.

This story also appears in Energywire.

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