Court nixes stay requests for EPA methane rule

By Niina H. Farah | 07/09/2024 01:36 PM EDT

The rule’s challengers did not meet “stringent requirements” for freezing a regulation while litigation is underway, judges said.

E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse.

The E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, home to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is shown. AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikipedia

A federal appeals court Tuesday declined requests from state and industry challengers to freeze EPA’s rule to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a brief order allowing the rule to remain in place as a three-judge panel weighs whether the agency overstepped its authority by regulating emissions from existing fossil fuel infrastructure.

“Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review,” the court said in the unsigned order.


EPA’s methane rule, which also limits emissions of volatile organic compounds, relies on equipment upgrades and leak detection technology to control emissions of the potent greenhouse gas. Methane has about 80 times the heat-trapping capability of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, making it a key target for shorter-term federal climate action.