June 14, 2017 / 5:07 PM / 2 years ago

Trump administration to suspend rule on natural gas waste: document

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will suspend compliance dates on a rule limiting methane emissions from oil and gas companies working on public lands as soon as Thursday, according to an Interior Department document.

The move is part of an effort by President Donald Trump, a Republican, to roll back the environmental regulations of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday said it would propose a two-year stay on another Obama methane rule requiring companies to detect and capture leaking emissions.

Compliance dates on the rule on methane on public lands, which the Obama administration issued in November 2016, will be suspended until a federal court in Wyoming considers litigation on the regulation, said the document, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. Industry groups and several states with significant amounts of federally-owned land had petitioned the rule, saying it would add additional costs to drilling operations.

Last month, the U.S. Senate narrowly rejected a resolution to revoke the rule, when Senator John McCain and two of his fellow Republicans voted against the measure.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrew Hay

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