Earlier today, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court’s ruling that the Bureau of Land Management did not have the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing on lands owned by all Americans and managed for them by the BLM. In response, Earthworks’ Energy Program Director made this statement:
Washington, D.C. – Announcements this week from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will delay Obama-era methane pollution rules. The rules aimed to limit methane pollution from oil and gas facilities.
Statement of Kendra Pinto of Twin Pines, located in the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation in northern New Mexico near Chaco Canyon in the San Juan Basin:
“The laws of the Navajo Nation and the United States of America should protect people, our lands, and our health. Without the Interior Department’s rule to curb methane emissions on public lands, we allow the oil and gas industry to burn our money, and our health, away.”
Today, the Senate voted not to block an Interior Department regulation that will reduce methane emissions and associated toxic air pollution from oil and gas operations on public lands. Oil and gas industry advocates in Congress attempted to use the Congressional Review Act to roll back these common-sense rules, but did but failed 49 to 51. The rule, finalized by the Department of Interior in 2016, prevents natural gas waste, saving both the taxpayers and the energy industry money in the long term. This important rule also protects public health and the climate. Carcinogens, like benzene, are often colocated within methane emissions -- methane is a potent greenhouse gas.
Vernal, UT -- Earthworks released a video taken April 25 showing massive amounts of otherwise invisible air pollution on public lands in Utah, just west of Grand Junction, Colorado. The video comes right as Senate leaders say they will vote on whether to use the Congressional Review Act to permanently revoke the Bureau of Land Management's natural gas waste rule that would significantly reduce this pollution in January 2018.