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Key Vote: Senate BLM Methane CRA

Several weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulation for methane venting and flaring. We urge Senators to vote YES on this CRA resolution.

The Congressional Review Act allows for Congress to halt certain regulatory actions. Congress can pass a joint resolution of disapproval for a rule within 60 legislative days of publication and prohibit agencies from enacting any substantially similar rules. The BLM methane rule, which was finalized in December of 2016, is a prime example of costly regulatory excess and is ripe for review under the CRA. According to the American Action Forum, this rule will cost $1.8 billion.

The BLM methane rule would require the oil and gas sector to take unnecessarily costly measures to reduce methane emissions on federal lands by up to 45 percent by 2025. However the rule would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by a mere 0.0092 percent, making this “all economic pain for no environmental gain” rule the poster child for excessive and unnecessary government regulation.

Furthermore, this regulation ignores the significant strides that the industry is already making. According to the EPA, methane emissions fell by 13 percent from 2011—2014—a time when natural gas production significantly increased. In addition, methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing fell by 81 percent from 2012—2014. We don’t need a federal regulation to force oil and gas producers to control their methane emissions—methane itself is a versatile fuel source and valuable commodity.

The BLM methane rule is an unnecessary regulation that will destroy jobs and make energy more expensive for American families. AEA will score this vote in its American Energy Scorecard. Senators should vote YES on the CRA resolution to repeal the BLM’s methane rule.

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