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Methane Rules Stand

by Elizabeth Alford on June 16, 2017

In a surprise move, the United States Senate has voted to keep Obama’s methane ruling.

Related: EPA: Tougher Methane Emissions Approved

Last month, key Republicans joined Democrats to uphold the power granted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during the Obama Administration to regulate some the oil and gas activity. The BLM had been granted the authority to set requirements to restrict methane leaks and excessive flaring.

“Improving the control of methane emissions is an important public health and air quality issue, which is why some states are moving forward with their own regulations requiring greater investment in recapture technology. I join the call for strong action to reduce pollution from venting, flaring, and leaks associated with oil and gas production operations on public and Indian land.” – Rep. Senator John McCain

John McCain (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) joined the entire body of Democrats to uphold the provision.

The methane rule was part a plan designed by former President Obama to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 – 45 percent by 2025. It included:

  • Allowing the BLM to set standards to prevent methane leaks and excessive flaring
  • Allowed the BLM to inspect drilling operations for leaks of methane
  • Oil and gas companies must pay royalties on natural gas extracted from operations on federal and tribal lands

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