February 14, 2017

Cortez Masto Statement on Republican Efforts to Roll Back Environmental Protections, Repeal BLM’s Methane Rule

BLM’s methane rule prevents waste of country’s natural oil and gas supply, reduces harmful air pollution, and ensures taxpayers receive fair compensation for federal and tribal land use

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today released the following statement opposing Republican plans to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) methane rule by the legislative vehicle, the Congressional Review Act (CRA):

“The BLM’s methane rule is a common sense measure to eliminate gas waste, protect our environment, and ensure American taxpayers are receiving proper royalties for land use. It is absurd and irresponsible that Republicans in Congress are trying to overturn a rule designed to help reduce the amount of toxic methane gas being released into our atmosphere, making our air cleaner and our communities safer. Climate change is a serious threat to the environment, our economy, and our personal health and safety. Upending this important rule will jeopardize decades worth of progress on climate change and our hard-fought efforts to protect the environment.  The BLM’s methane rule should not be overturned and I vehemently oppose efforts to do so.”

In November 2016, the BLM finalized updating the 30-year-old oil and gas production rules to account for new technological advancements and developments within the industry. The updated methane rule requires oil and gas companies to enhance measures to prevent methane gas leaks and flares in order to reduce natural gas waste, decrease harmful environmental pollutants, and provide taxpayers with adequate royalty rates for use of public and tribal lands.