The Trump administration laid out on Thursday a far-reaching plan to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in its proposed rule, aims to eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities. It will also reopen the question of whether the E.P.A. even has the legal authority to regulate methane as a pollutant.

The rollback is particularly notable because major energy companies have, in fact, spoken out against it -- joining the ranks of automakers, electric utilities and other industrial giants that have opposed other administration initiatives to dismantle climate-change and environmental rules. Several of the world's largest auto companies are pushing back against President Trump's plans to let vehicles pollute more, saying those rollbacks stand to split the United States auto market in two, while utilities have opposed the relaxation of restrictions on toxic mercury pollution from coal-burning power plants.

This move could even be self-defeating on the part of the Trump administration in its sheer pointlessness and malice.

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