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The US Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday plans to roll back regulations that limit leaks of potent greenhouse gas methane from pipelines and wells, even as some industry players opposed the move.
It is the latest in President Donald Trump's long battle against environmental protection rules, coming weeks after his administration made fundamental changes to a widely popular wildlife protection law and re-authorized the use of "cyanide bombs" to kill animals that prey on livestock.
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"EPA's proposal delivers on President Trump's executive order and removes unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry," said the agency's head, Andrew Wheeler, a former fossil fuel lobbyist.
"The Trump Administration recognizes that methane is valuable, and the industry has an incentive to minimize leaks and maximize its use," he added.
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The rules would likely go into effect next year after a non-binding public comment period.
The EPA said the proposed amendments would save the oil and natural gas industry $17-$19 million a year, for a total of $97-$123 million from...
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