Federal Methane Rule Holds On

May 12, 2017

Methane Emissions
Credit Earthworks

The U.S. Senate decided not to overturn the Obama era methane rule, which seeks to limit the venting and flaring of methane by oil and gas drillers on federal land. 

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In a tight vote, three Republicans sided with Democrats in rejecting the rollback of the methane regulation.

Supporters of the rule said it keeps the air clean in states like Wyoming with widespread gas development on public lands. Opponents said the rule is redundant with state and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations already in place.

Mark Watson, the director of Wyoming’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, said the state has been responsible for federal land regulation for a long time and it should stay that way.  

"It’s just harder," he said because, "basically industry has two or three different masters and different rules they have to implement and follow and some of these rules overlap each other and it’s confusing for the industry.” 

U.S. Senator John Barrasso is calling for the Department of Interior to independently overturn the resolution.