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EPA chief delays methane rule at behest of oil and gas firms


WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency is again moving to derail Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing pollution from the fossil fuel industry.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Wednesday he's issued a 90-day delay for oil and gas companies to follow a new rule requiring them to monitor and reduce methane leaks from their facilities. Pruitt says the agency will now reconsider the 2016 measure, which the companies were required to comply with by this June.

It is the latest in a slew of actions by Pruitt to set aside environmental regulations opposed by corporate interests. The American Petroleum Institute and other industry groups petitioned Pruitt to scrap the requirement.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, causing up to 100 times more global warming than the same amount of carbon dioxide.

Michael Biesecker, The Associated Press



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