Court Ruling Allows Flaring Litigation to Resume

The HollyFrontier Refinery in Cheyenne where excess natural gas is flared.

Governor Mark Gordon is pleased that a Federal District Court in Wyoming is moving quickly to allow Wyoming and three other energy producing states to restart legal challenges to an overreaching Obama-era rule.

Last week a California federal district court set aside the Bureau of Land Management’s current rule governing venting and flaring of natural gas on public lands and will reimpose the Obama-era rule in 90 days.

“In a thorough, but thoroughly incorrect ruling, the judge rejected the Trump Administration’s commonsense approach to the management of waste gas,” Governor Gordon said. “The Trump Administration recognized and respected Wyoming’s longstanding and effective regulations, while the Obama Administration sought to impose a one-size-fits-all mandate that imposes tremendous costs on oil and gas producers to save small amounts of natural gas.”

Before the Trump Administration replaced the Obama-era rule, Wyoming and other energy states were in the process of challenging the validity of that rule in Federal Court in Wyoming. Those proceedings were paused when the Trump Administration replaced the Obama-era rule. The Wyoming court lifted a stay on the case on Tuesday, allowing Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and Texas to proceed with their challenge to the Obama rule before it goes into effect and causes substantial harm.

“Wyoming will be reviewing its options to appeal the California decision, but in the meantime we will do all we can to avoid the harm that the Obama-era rule will cause in this particularly difficult time for Wyoming’s energy industry,” Governor Gordon said.