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Sean D. Reyes
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General Reyes Takes Action Against the EPA’s Methane Tax; Illegal Regulation Hurts Utahns

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a letter to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a recently proposed rule titled “Waste Emissions Charge for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems.” The letter, which was led by the State of West Virginia, urges the EPA to reconsider its “unlawful and ill-advised” regulation.

On August 16, 2022, President Joseph R. Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law. One of the provisions of this legislation was to mandate the implementation of a “waste emissions charge” – or Methane Tax, as per Section 136 of the Clean Air Act. This congressional directive led to the proposed rule in January 2024. Still, even though the EPA is following through with marching orders from enacted legislation, the attorneys general warn that this agency “must operate within the bounds of the law and make reasonable decisions” in taking the next step to craft policies under its purview.

In their letter, the attorneys general present multiple arguments against the EPA’s proposed rule, as written. First, that “the Proposed Rule is premature, resting on a regulatory landscape that is itself subject to ongoing legal challenges.” Second, that “the EPA’s additions to the Methane Tax’s envisioned scheme push the Proposed Rule beyond the agency’s statutory authority in several ways.” Third, that “the Proposed Rule contains several unreasonable interpretations of statutory text that actually undermine Congress’s intent, making the rule arbitrary and capricious.” And finally, that “the Proposed Rule lacks an adequate cost-benefit analysis.”

The States note in the conclusion that, “the Methane Tax is a misguided burden on our nation’s energy industry. It is just the latest attack in what seems to be this administration’s all-out war on that sector. We therefore urge the EPA to reconsider this rule and return with a focus on following the text and purpose of the law.”

Joining Utah and West Virginia were the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Read the letter here.