The Trump administration on Monday moved to repeal one of the last unchallenged climate-change regulations rushed into place in the waning days of the Obama presidency — a rule restricting the release of planet-warming methane into the atmosphere.
The rule, which applied to companies drilling for energy on federal land, has been the subject of intense court battles and delay efforts, as well as one surprise vote last year in which Senate Republicans temporarily saved it from being torpedoed.
Methane, which is about 25 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, accounts for 9 percent of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions; about a third of that is estimated to come from oil and gas operations. Under the rule, oil and gas companies would have been required to capture leaked methane, update their equipment and write new plans for minimizing waste when drilling on government property.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management described the rule as costly,…