Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Releases Letter Opposing Methane Rule Repeal Under the Congressional Review Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) sent a letter to Republican Senate offices on Capitol Hill outlining the right-of-center organization’s stance against the repeal of the Methane Rule via the Congressional Review Act (CRA). CRES Director of Federal Affairs Andrew Bird released the following statement:

“This letter makes clear, that while adherence to innovative methods of methane capture is in line with the conservative principles of protecting taxpayers and effectively managing our national resources, CRES does not agree with the process by which this regulation was finalized. The responsible course of action would have been for President Obama and members of his administration to work hand-in-hand with Republicans in the House and Senate to maximize the effectiveness of this rule,” said CRES Director of Federal Affairs Andrew Bird.

“We oppose the use of the Congressional Review Act as a reform vehicle in this instance because it limits the ability of the Trump Administration to pursue methane capture in the most effective, innovative and efficient way possible for both consumers and our natural environment.”

Below is the full text of the letter submitted to Republican Senate offices:

Dear Senator:

In November 2016, the Bureau of Land Management finalized rules to reduce oil and gas companies operating on public lands to reduce the amount of methane that is burned, flared, or leaked into the air. The Senate may consider repealing this rule using the Congressional Review Act.

While we would prefer to see rules like these enacted through the legislative process, the fact is that these standards are in line with the conservative principles of protecting the taxpayer, effectively managing our national resources, promoting market-based solutions, and being a responsible steward of the environment.

Some drilling and extraction practices and technologies have not kept up with current innovations, which are proven to prevent or reduce the waste of natural gas resources from our federal lands every day. This lack of investment to prevent methane releases means fewer resources are making it to market to promote U.S. energy independence, fewer royalties to the taxpayer and to states, and fewer dollars back into our economy.

Furthermore, many companies are currently producing products that assist in methane mitigation.  Many of these products have been proven to pay for themselves by preventing the loss of natural gas.  These advances mean real investment into our energy infrastructure, real jobs for Americans, and a real positive impact on our economy.

Repealing this regulation through the Congressional Review Act could allow higher level of methane releases to continue on federal lands, create a negative impact on our economy, stifle the innovations that can maximize our abundant natural gas resources, and would prevent the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management from being able to offer leases that include industry best management practices, and are therefore more likely to withstand a legal challenge. CRES would support the delegation of BLM’s authority under this rule to the states in those instances where states have regulated methane releases.

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions recommends that the Senate refrain from using the CRA to repeal this regulation.  Congressional Republicans should instead work with the Trump Administration to implement this rule and others in a manner that ensures an effective, safe, and timely process for permitting and production on federal lands is created while also maintaining the assurance that waste and loss are minimized.

Andrew Bird
Director of Federal Affairs

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization founded in 2013 to engage Republican policymakers and the public about commonsense, conservative solutions to address our nation’s need for abundant, reliable energy while preserving our environment.

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