Serving The Bakken And Beyond

Industry Lambasts Senate For Rejecting Action On Methane Rule

A chorus of industry groups condemned the US Senate for voting down consideration of a law that would have rolled back the controversial methane venting and flaring rule imposed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Senate failed to even consider debating the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution on a 49-51 vote May 10. Republican legislators said they would ask the US Dept. of Interior to withdraw the regulation.

“If left in place, this regulation will only discourage energy production, job creation, and economic opportunity across the West,” Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John A. Barrasso (R-WY), who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, said immediately after the vote. “Wyoming and other leading energy producing states already regulate methane emissions. We don’t need this duplicative rule.”

“We are extremely disappointed in Senator Heitkamp’s decision today to vote against the repeal of this rule,” said Ron Ness, president of the ND Petroleum Council. “Hundreds of energy employees and numerous businesses, chambers of commerce, and trade associations wrote to express concern for the rule. Despite this, Senator Heitkamp has chosen to stand with the environmental activists and the Democratic party in Washington rather than the oil and gas workers and people of North Dakota.” Heitkamp, the US Senator from North Dakota, is a Democrat.

“America’s natural gas and oil industry supports common sense regulation, but the BLM’s technically flawed rule on methane emissions is an unnecessary and costly misstep,” said API Upstream and Industry Operations Group Director Erik Milito.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed the Senate didn’t even have the wherewithal to debate overturning the rule on the floor,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance. “We’ll also be working closely with the Department of the Interior on reviewing and rescinding this rule.”

“To say I’m extremely disappointed in the Senate’s voting down of this CRA...which would have revoked Obama’s job-killing BLM Methane Rule—is an understatement,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND).