February 2, 2017
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted against reversing the Bureau of Land Management’s methane rule, put in place at the end of last year to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas extraction on public lands. In 2014, operators spewed 9.8 million metric tons of methane into the air – pollution with a short-term climate effect equivalent to the emissions from 200 coal power plants over twenty years. The rule prohibits the direct release of methane, puts stronger restrictions on controlled burning of methane from wells, and requires new technology and more frequent inspections to reduce unintentional methane leaks.
“Short-lived climate pollutants are the low-hanging fruit in the fight to mitigate climate change. Embracing innovation to reduce the emission of superpollutants like methane – which is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide – buys us time as we transition to a clean energy economy,” said Rep. Scott Peters. “This rule would help increase revenues, curb waste, and reduce harmful emissions that threaten the health of our families and the climate. But instead of finding a space where we can work together and make the rule work for businesses and communities, my colleagues want to eliminate it entirely and take a massive step back at a time when we need to be thinking about the energy solutions of the future.”
The resolution to overturn the rule through the Congressional Review Act will now move to the Senate. If it passes, the methane rule will be blocked and the Bureau of Land Management will be prohibited from issuing a similar rule until Congress gives them authorization to do so.