EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt rescinded an Obama-era request that oil and gas companies provide data on their methane emissions the day after a group of Republican politicians urged him to do so. Above, Pruitt, then Oklahoma Attorney General, was photographed at his office in Oklahoma City, July 29, 2014. Reuters

Oil and gas companies will no longer have to provide the Environmental Protection Agency with information concerning their methane gas emissions, as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt scrapped an agency information request this week at the urging of 11 Republican politicians in predominantly southern states.

A Nov. 10 survey sent to members of the sector by the administration of former President Barack Obama “requires oil and natural gas companies to provide voluminous information and survey responses in support of the Obama administration’s initiatives to impose onerous requirements upon [the] industry,” a Wednesday letter to Pruitt from governors and attorneys general from Louisiana, Texas, Montana and other oil-rich states read. “We believe the EPA’s requests to be an unnecessary and onerous burden on oil and gas producers that is more harassment than a genuine search for pertinent and appropriate information.”

Pruitt, a longtime friend of the oil industry, including during his tenure as Oklahoma attorney general, dropped the EPA request Thursday.

The EPA pegged the industry-wide cost of responding to the survey, which probed nearly 20,000 owners and operators in the oil and gas sector, at $42 million—or, depending on the type of survey, between $1,200 and $5,160 per company. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced a year earlier that the agency would be taking steps to collect information on sources of methane emissions as part of a joint effort with the Canadian government, as well as with more than 100 nations that ratified the 2015 Paris climate talks, to cut the release of those harmful gases.

Citing a new EPA program, along with several university studies on the issue, McCarthy said methane emissions “are substantially higher than we previously understood.”

Among the top methane polluters in the U.S. are ConocoPhillips Co., BP America Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp.—the former and only employer of President Donald Trump’s secretary of state Rex Tillerson—according to a June study from the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank.