North Dakota Sues the EPA

North Dakota has become the first state to sue the federal government regarding new methane rulings for oil and gas facilities. 

Related: Lynn Helms Urges Lawmakers Over Methane Rules

On Monday, the North Dakota’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), citing concerns that the new rules are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law."

The filing is on the heels of the testimony last week by Lynn Helms, the director of the N.D. Department of Mineral Resources. Helms spoke to a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee lending his voice to the growing opposition to the proposed regulations by the EPA. 

The new standards were proposed by the EPA in May and are designed to reduce 520,000 short tons of methane in 2015, the equivalent of 11 million metric ton of carbon dioxide. 

Methane is believed to be 28 to 34 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere over a 100-year period. These EPA’s proposed regulations will require reducing emissions by 40-45% over the next decade.