New rules effecting oil and gas producers were proposed by the Bureau of Land Management Friday. The rules are said to reduce “venting and flaring” of natural gas that is produced as a byproduct of oil extraction or natural gas that may present a safety problem. Currently that gas is burned off or simply vented into the atmosphere. Opponents of the proposed rules are fighting back, claiming that the rules are “redundant with state efforts and lacks justification.” In a statement Western Energy Alliance voiced their support for efforts aimed at capturing greater quantities of methane and reducing waste gas, but they insist that a “command and control regulatory approach is not the most effective way to meet that goal.” In fact, numbers show that the industry has achieved dramatic emissions reduction without government regulation. Since 1990, oil and natural gas producers have decreased methane emissions by 21% despite production rising by 47% over that time period. The oil and natural gas industry has actually achieved more greenhouse gas reductions than any other industry involved in the government’s climate change program. In a statement discussing the proposed rules Senator Michael Bennett said “Reducing methane emissions is important to protect our environment and Colorado is already leading the way. State and local officials, energy producers, and environmental groups in our state worked together to create commonsense, cost-effective regulations to tackle this issue. We’re glad that the BLM is following Colorado’s lead and appears to be using similar strategies. We look forward to taking a closer look to ensure that BLM’s proposed rule works for our communities and energy producers.” Follow the links below for more information.