2013 News Releases

AG Schmidt: Federal Government should stay out of oil-field emission regulation

Release Date: May 06, 2013

TOPEKA – (May 6, 2013) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and 12 other state attorneys general have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not to impose new regulations on oil-producing states without Kansas and other affected states being part of the discussion.

Several northeastern states are attempting to convince the EPA to impose new federal regulations on the emission of methane gases during oil production activities. Kansas and the other oil-producing states argue that EPA’s historical stance of avoiding further regulation is sound, that this regulatory decision should remain at the state level, and that if EPA is seriously considering new oilfield regulations it should at least discuss the matter with oil-producing states.

“Regulatory actions have costs and consequences, and in this case, those costs and consequences will be felt by the industries and economies in Kansas and other oil and gas producing states,” Attorney General Schmidt said. “It makes no sense for federal regulators to negotiate the issues with non-producing states.”

In a letter sent last week to the EPA, the attorneys general said that federal “regulation of methane emissions from oil and gas facilities is not appropriate” and that methane emissions from oil and gas facilities are being controlled “in compliance with existing regulations implemented by producing states and as a result of voluntary industry efforts.”

The attorneys general asked that if the EPA disagreed, the federal government should at least include the producing states in the discussions. They also took issue with EPA data they say overstates emission levels.

“The justification for those estimates has been challenged by mounting evidence, including voluminous data and investigation of potential flaws in the statistical methodology,” the letter stated.

In addition to Kansas, the states signing the letter are Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.