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EPA methane rules part of 'war' on industry, Texas regulator tells House panel


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EPA methane rules part of 'war' on industry, Texas regulator tells House panel

The EPA'srules on methane emissions are part of a greater "war against fossil fuels"and will have a devastating effect on Texas' industry, the state's top oil and gasregulator said during testimony before Congress.

TexasRailroad Commission Chairman David Porter ripped the Obama administration and theEPA in particular for overstepping their boundaries in what he described as a questto ruin hydrocarbon producers.

"EPArules on methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are just another assaultfrom this administration in the president's war against fossil fuels and a blatantattempt to forcibly take over the regulation of Texas' oil and gas industry, a jobthe Railroad Commission has excelled at for almost a century," he said before the House Energy andCommerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power. "These overbearing regulations accomplishnothing other than restricting business growth and innovation, wounding our economyand killing the jobs Texans rely on to support their families."

Portersaid more than 2 million jobs in Texas are reliant on the industry, which has helpedthe nation as a whole benefit from cheaper oil and gas in recent years. With itsregulations, he said, the EPA is not only grabbing for control that belongs to stateregulators but also damaging the livelihood of many Texans in the process.

"Thecommission is concerned that the oil and natural gas industry in Texas will be significantlyimpacted by the methane rules, which continue the uncontrolled expansion of EPA'sauthority to regulate and control oil and natural gas activities in Texas and otherstates," he said.

Portersaid the recently stayedClean Power Plan put forward by the administration constitutes a "formidable,unprecedented and unlawful expansion of EPA's authority" and would force Texasand other states to restructure their power grid at great cost.

"Thepresident disregards the constitutional limits of his office and public opinionto forward his own liberal agenda that combats fossil fuels and favors unreliableand costly alternative energy sources," he said. "In promoting this agenda,he has allowed EPA to become the mouthpiece for ideological propaganda. I hope thecourt continues to realize that this tyrannical intrusion into the free market iscostly, illogical and uncalled-for."