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Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules Thursday designed to ease Obama-era regulations on methane emissions from the oil and gas business.

Why it matters: Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas. The oil and gas industry is a significant source of emissions from wells plus natural gas pipelines, compressors and other equipment.

  • But the Trump administration argues there'd be "minimal environmental benefits if [the EPA] were to take the prior path," per an EPA press call on Thursday.

Details: The EPA is "co-proposing two actions":

  • "In its primary proposal, the agency would remove sources in the transmission and storage segment of the oil and gas industry from regulation," a release reads.
  • "In an alternative proposal, EPA would rescind the methane emissions limitations without removing from regulation any sources from the transmission and storage segment of the industry."

The intrigue: Oil companies aren't all on the same page. According to the New York Times, the powerful lobbying group American Petroleum Institute praised the forthcoming plan.

  • But the NYT notes that Shell, ExxonMobil and BP support federal restrictions.
  • On Thursday's call, an EPA spokesperson said the business community has offered "positive comments from across the board."

What they're saying: Environmental groups are pushing back on the change.

“If EPA manages to finalize and implement this illegal proposal, it will have devastating impacts on our climate for years to come,”
— said Darin Schroeder, an attorney with the Clean Air Task Force

Of note: The EPA stated it expects downward trends in methane emissions to continue despite proposed deregulation.

Go deeper: Exxon asks EPA to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Leon Black says he "made a terrible mistake" doing business with Jeffrey Epstein

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images

Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black on Thursday said during an earnings call that he made a "terrible mistake" by employing Jeffrey Epstein to work on personal financial and philanthropic services.

Why it matters: Apollo is one of the world's largest private equity firms, and already has lost at least one major client over Black's involvement with Epstein.

3 hours ago - World

Jeremy Corbyn suspended by U.K. Labour Party over anti-Semitism report

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The U.K. Labour Party has suspended its former leader, Jeremy Corbyn, after a watchdog report found that the party failed to properly take action against allegations of anti-Semitism during his time in charge.

Why it matters: It represents a strong break by Keir Starmer, Labour's current leader, from the Corbyn era and one of the party's most persistent scandals.