Feds & environmental groups reach tentative deal over oil & gas lease emissions

Oil and gas development at Colorado's Roan Plateau. Photo by Ecoflight.
Oil and gas development at Colorado’s Roan Plateau. Photo by Ecoflight.

Conservation groups are leaning on the feds over the need to control methane emissions as part of energy development . . .

Environmental groups and the U.S. government reached a tentative agreement to end a dispute over greenhouse gas emissions from federal oil and gas leases in Montana.

Attorneys for the Department of Justice and the environmentalists filed notice in federal court Friday that they have a settlement in principle over a lawsuit that pushes the government to examine the effects on climate change when leasing public lands for energy drilling. They hope to finalize the deal within the month.

The groups say the government should require companies to use technology that would reduce climate-changing methane emissions as a condition of their leases. Better oversight and technology use could cut 40 percent of the methane now lost due to leaking pipes, venting excess gas and exhaust from drilling, processing and transporting the oil and gas, according to the Montana Environmental Information Center, WildEarth Guardians and Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project.

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