The White House is delaying the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) methane regulations amid rising gas prices right before the November midterm elections, according to E&E News.
President Joe Biden’s EPA in November began the process to reinstate Obama administration rules that force stricter methane emission limits on new and existing fossil fuel facilities after the president approved the measure in June 2021. However, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not yet released the EPA’s methane regulations, E&E News reported; at the same time, the Biden administration has been attempting to bring gas prices ahead of the midterms.
The EPA’s methane rules will impose heavy costs on oil and gas producers, as they will be forced to retrofit their facilities to comply with regulations that will not significantly reduce methane emissions, according to The Western Energy Alliance, a trade group representing independent oil and gas organizations. Methane contributes heavily to the “climate crisis” as it traps approximately 30 times more heat than carbon dioxide gas and warms the planet further, according to the EPA.
OMB has been reviewing the rules, which are set to be finalized in spring 2023, since Aug. 15 and indicated that they could be released in early October or late September, the outlet reported. The White House is desperate to bring gas prices down ahead of the midterms due to beliefs that gas prices mostly directly affect voters’ perception of the economy, according to The Washington Post.
Biden announced Wednesday that he would further release oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down gas prices but denied that such an action was politically motivated.
“It’s not politically motivated at all,” the president said.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced on Oct. 5 that they would cut crude oil production by two million barrels per day, causing oil prices to tick up. Biden has been pushing oil and gas producers to ramp up production to meet demand, however, oil executives claimed that the administration’s negative attitude towards the industry is dampening investment, according to a June survey conducted by the Dallas Federal Reserve.
The EPA and the White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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