DENVER—In a Federal Register notice released today, the Bureau of Land Management announced it would suspend key parts of a rule designed to limit methane waste from oil and gas operations on public lands. In May, the United States Senate voted against eliminating this rule. In response the Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Advocacy Director Jesse Prentice-Dunn:

“Last month Congress explicitly opposed killing these safeguards with a bipartisan vote, but it seems oil and gas CEOs have an ace up their sleeve—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. This reckless decision will leave Westerners with dirtier air to breathe and cheat taxpayers out of money owed to all Americans.

“These commonsense safeguards will ensure more natural gas is captured and sold, and will create jobs designing and installing methane capture technology. Instead of looking out for all Americans, Secretary Zinke is simply ignoring rules on the books at the behest of oil and gas companies.”

Eliminating the Bureau of Land Management’s methane waste rule was a major priority for the oil and gas industry, which spent millions lobbying Congress. Last month, Senators McCain (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC) and Collins (R-ME) joined Democrats to defeat a Congressional Review Act resolution that would have eliminated the methane waste rule and prevented substantially similar rules from being issued in the future.

For more information, visit westernpriorities.org. To speak with an expert on public lands, contact Aaron Weiss at 720-279-0019 or aaron@westernpriorities.org.

Written by on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017