Exxon urges EPA to maintain methane rules

WASHINGTON - Exxon Mobil is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to maintain key elements of the Obama administration policy restricting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling.

In a letter to the agency Monday, the Texas-based oil giant said while it was interested in finding cost effective ways to regulate the greenhouse gas, the administration should maintain programs including the leak monitoring program and enhanced standards for pneumatic devices and storage tanks.

"We believe the correct mix of policies and reasonable regulations help reduce emissions, further supporting the benefits of natural gas in the energy mix," Gantt Walton, an Exxon vice president wrote. "Overall we are pursuing initiatives that will result in a 15 percent decrease in company methane emissions by 2020."