Gov. Hickenlooper statement on EPA rules
DENVER — Thursday, May 12, 2016 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a finalized rule to limit methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas facilities.
“The EPA announced today finalized standards to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), notably methane, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from oil and natural gas operations.
This move follows the example set by our Air Quality Control Commission in 2014, when we passed rules making Colorado the first state in the nation to directly regulate methane; those rules were embraced by the Oil and Gas Task Force and approved by the General Assembly in 2015. In Colorado, we remain committed to protecting clean air, regardless of what the federal government does. We are proud that our state methane rules, born out of Colorado-style collaboration, are effectively reducing methane emissions while allowing the oil and gas industry to continue to thrive.
In the most important respects, Colorado’s rules appear to be equivalent, if not more protective in certain circumstances than what EPA has finalized today. Our rules cover new and existing sources and require more frequent leak inspections in most instances than what EPA has finalized. While we’re still reviewing the EPA’s rule, we’re encouraged that some of our comments were incorporated. Our top priority remains that the rule complement and not interfere with steps Colorado has already taken to protect public health, safety and environment, while ensuring a vibrant oil and gas industry. Protecting public health, the environment and a robust, diverse economy are goals we can all share.”