Move to Scrap Methane Waste Rule Fails in U.S. Senate

Most U.S. Senators from oil and gas producing states voted Wednesday in support of a Congressional Review Act move to scrap the Obama-era rule to control methane waste on public lands. But in the end, the vote failed 49-51 leaving other options to either repeal or change the regulation.

Oklahoma U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford voted for the CRA as did Kansas Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts. Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz voted for it as well.

But there were split votes in other states noted for their oil and gas production.

In Colorado, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner was for it while Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett voted no. North Dakota’s Senators split too—-Democrat Heidi Heitkamp was a ‘no’ while Republican John Hoeven was a ‘yes’ vote. In Missouri, Republican Roy Blunt was for it while Democrat Claire McCaskill was against it.

New Mexico’s two senators, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, both Democrats, voted against it.

Kate MacGregor, acting assistant secretary of Land and Minerals Management at the Interior Department reacted with a statement.

“As part of President Trump’s America-First Energy Strategy and executive order, the Department has reviewed and flagged the Waste Prevention rule as one we will suspend, revise or rescind given its significant regulatory burden that encumbers American energy production, economic growth and job creation.”

The failure also prompted Kathleen Sgamma, President of the Western Energy Alliance to state her group had three tools to overturn the BLM methane rule.

“With the failure of the CRA in the Senate today, we’ll continue with our other two tools, litigation and the rulemaking process.”