The stakes are high for Eddy County and its biggest city, Carlsbad. The county is located on the Western side of the Permian Basin, which stretches across Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. After several years of falling oil prices, the region’s energy sector is starting to rebound, with companies seeking hundreds of new workers on the New Mexico side of the Permian Basin, according to recent press reports.
It’s important that states “see us as partners in this very important mission we have as an agency, and not adversaries,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a speech to agency employees. During the Obama administration, Pruitt emerged as a leading critic of the EPA in his former role as Oklahoma attorney general. He joined with other states, business groups, labor unions and other stakeholders in challenging the Obama EPA in court for overstepping its authority.
Two major institutions in Western Colorado, Club 20 and the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, are speaking out against a methane regulation imposed during the final months of the Obama administration. And their criticism of the last-minute “venting and flaring” rule is getting support from an unlikely source: Federal environmental regulators.
Anti-pipeline protestors have left a huge mess of garbage, human waste, abandoned vehicles and more in a flood plain next to the Missouri River in North Dakota. As they struggle to keep all this pollution out of the river, officials want the world to know who caused this problem: Activists from out of state. “When we take a look at the figures and pull out where people are from … you definitely notice that not a lot of North Dakotans are in that group,” Rob Keller, public information officer for the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, told Western Wire.
Local leaders in western states are stepping up their criticism of a last-minute regulation from the Obama administration targeting oil and natural gas development on federal lands. The Bureau of Land Management regulation, known as the “venting and flaring” rule, faces a repeal vote in the U.S. Senate as early as next week. The venting and flaring rule is “best suited for the trash can, not Utah’s public lands,” Grand County Council member Curtis Wells told Western Wire.
Oklahoma’s leading business group is adding its support to the repeal of a late-term Obama administration rule targeting oil and natural gas development on federal lands amid media reports that senators remain undecided on the issue. “The US House did the right thing by rejecting this unnecessary and over reaching regulation and we strongly urge the Senate to do the same,” Fred Morgan, president and chief executive officer of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, said in a statement to Western Wire.
Representatives of the construction industry told a U.S. House hearing yesterday that executive actions facilitating energy infrastructure projects, signed by President Donald Trump three weeks ago, have already created thousands of jobs. “From my personal experience, I can report that request for quotes and opportunities have kept my phone ringing in the few short weeks since the EOs [Executive Orders] were signed,” said Rex Ferry, a business owner representing the National Electrical Contractors Association.