EPA withdraws Obama-era request for data on oil, natural gas

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WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency is withdrawing an Obama-era request that oil and natural gas companies provide information on methane emissions at oil and gas operations.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the withdrawal is effective immediately, adding that he wants to assess the need for the information the agency has been collecting under a directive issued in November.

Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and eight other states had questioned the reporting request as overly burdensome.

Pruitt says that removing the reporting request signals that EPA under his leadership takes state concerns seriously and is “committed to strengthening our partnership with the states.”

Environmental groups call the withdrawal a cave-in to oil-producing states, including Pruitt’s home state of Oklahoma and Texas, home to new Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

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