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Judge: Energy firms can ignore Obama-era methane waste rule

CASPER, Wyo. — A federal judge in Wyoming has ruled that energy companies don’t have to comply with a signature environmental rule from the Obama era involving methane waste.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Judge Scott Skavdahl ruled Wednesday that Bureau of Land Management regulations curbing the burning of excess gas from wells, as well as more labor-intensive checks for accidental leaks, make “little sense” because those requirements will soon disappear.

He didn’t weigh in on the rule’s merits, so addressing methane leaks and flares will still be decided in court. But Skavdahl said that until then, the rules should be on hold.

He says his decision “will provide certainty and stability” while BLM completes its rulemaking process.

The Environmental Defense Fund, which favors methane rules, vowed to appeal.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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