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EPA Should Delay New Rule for Oil, Gas Emissions, Industry Says

July 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Environmental Protection Agency, which is scheduled to propose new pollution limits for U.S. oil and gas production, should delay adopting a final rule by six months, an American Petroleum Institute official said.

The EPA, as part of a legal settlement with environmental groups, faces a deadline today to suggest standards for hazardous emissions from oil and gas exploration and production. The agency has said it will issue final regulations by Feb. 28.

The API, the largest U.S. oil and gas lobby, hasn’t yet seen the EPA’s proposal. The group wants the postponement to give energy companies more time to weigh in, said Howard Feldman, director of science and regulatory policy at the Washington-based trade group.

The oil and gas lobby wants to ensure that the proposed new regulations don’t “stifle the development of our abundant natural resources,” Feldman told reporters today on a conference call.

An EPA update to oil-and-gas emission rules under the Clean Air Act is overdue, according to Jeremy Nichols, director of the climate and energy program at Santa Fe, New Mexico-based WildEarth Guardians, one of the groups that sued the EPA in a bid to force an update of standards that haven’t been revised since 1985.

API’s request to delay a new rule “would be seriously misguided,” Nichols said today in an interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Chipman in Washington at kchipman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

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