BISMARCK — North Dakota will continue regulating methane emissions even after the Trump administration announced plans to ease oil and gas rules, a state official said Thursday, Aug. 29.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the proposal to revise the Obama-era standards follows a directive from President Donald Trump to review burdensome energy regulations. His agency estimated the changes could save the oil and gas industry as much as $123 million through 2025.

The move was welcomed by Republican lawmakers from North Dakota, the country’s No. 2 oil producer.

“This proposed rule maintains health and environmental protections while eliminating duplicative regulations which increase compliance costs for producers that get passed along to consumers,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said in a statement.

The EPA said the proposal would rescind emissions limits for methane, a contributor to climate change, but the agency said it would keep in place standards for volatile organic compounds.

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