DEFENSE OF BLM METHANE RULE
WW IS WORKING TO UPHOLD THE METHANE WASTE RULE AND PROTECT OUR CLIMATE, HEALTH, AND CLEAN AIR.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) adopted a new regulation in November 2016 to reduce wasteful venting, flaring, and leaking of natural gas from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal lands. Natural gas is made up primarily of methane, a potent climate- warming gas. Such leaking and venting creates public health hazards and warms our climate, while wasting valuable natural gas that companies should be delivering to the American public. Wasting the gas also deprives local communities of valuable royalty payments.
The new rule requires oil and gas operations to use proven, low-cost measures to prevent methane venting, flaring, and leakage – measures that in many cases pay for themselves in recovered natural gas. The new rule updates and replaces nearly 40 year-old regulations, that do not reflect current technologies or best practices and fail to minimize waste.
The current administration has tried numerous attempts to eliminate and gut the new rule—saying it burdens industry, while Wilderness Workshop and a long list of partners continue fighting to protect this common-sense rule.
In February of 2018, we won a major victory for the climate, clean air and for taxpayers when a federal court rejected the Trump Administration’s attempt to suspend the methane waste rule. The court sided with us in part because the Bureau of Land Management did not provide for a meaningful opportunity for the public to comment on suspending the rule. Since then BLM has initiated another process aimed at eliminating the rule, and a Federal Court in Wyoming has enjoined implementation of the new Rule.
WW and our partners are committed to continuing to fight attempts to rollback this thoughtful and important regulation. Repealing this commonsense protection is another shameless giveaway of taxpayer resources and an assault on our shared climate, as well as the air and health of communities—just to appease the Trump administration’s corporate fossil fuel donors.