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Comment period extended for proposed BLM flaring and venting rule

WASHINGTON -- The Bureau of Land Management said in a statement Tuesday that it is extending the comment period two weeks for its controversial proposed Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, which would reduce excess flaring, venting and leakage of ...

WASHINGTON -- The Bureau of Land Management said in a statement Tuesday that it is extending the comment period two weeks for its controversial proposed Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, which would reduce excess flaring, venting and leakage of natural gas on federal and Native American lands.

The rule, which first appeared on the Federal Register on Feb. 8, moved the original 60-day comment period end date from April 8 to April 22.

The statement acknowledged the extension as a response to requests for the same gathered from four public input forums held in different states on the matter, the final forum was held in Dickinson earlier this month.

Supporters of the rule argue that it would cut down on wasting the resource, make a more environmentally friendly atmosphere and help account for more royalties.

Skeptics see it as duplicative of regulations already in place, and worry it could negatively affect the oil and gas industry.

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At the Dickinson forum, many parties asked that the comment period be extended by months in order to allow more input and scrutiny.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said in a statement Tuesday that the extension “falls far short of what’s needed,” though he added that the extension lends some additional time to analyze the impacts of the proposed rule.

He also attacked the rule as aimed to shut down the oil and gas industry as a whole, and noted that companies already have a “natural incentive” to capture natural gas for profit.

“The BLM and other federal agencies can do more by approving rights-of-way for additional pipelines in a timely manner,” Cramer said.

Related Topics: KEVIN CRAMER
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