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Venting and Flaring Rule

On February 3, 2017, H.J. Res. 36 was passed by the House of Representatives. It is currently pending passage in the Senate.

On November 15, 2016 the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued their final Waste Production, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation rule (BLM's Venting and Flaring rule). The rule attempts to regulate emissions from oil and gas development on federal lands, but instead represents one of the Obama administration's most egregious abuses of executive power designed to destroy responsible energy production on federal lands. 

Methane emissions from oil and natural gas have significantly declined in recent decades without duplicative federal regulation and at a time when oil and gas production in the U.S. has surged.  The rule, if implemented, will undercut this progress through duplicative regulatory burdens resulting in lost royalties, massive compliance costs and corresponding job losses.

For more information click HERE

THE SCOPE: Venting and Flaring Rule Ripe for Repeal

What is the Congressional Review Act?

The Congressional Review Act is a powerful Congressional resolution of disapproval to overturn last minute regulations from the previous Administration under an expedited legislative process. Passage of the CRA ensures that no substantially similar rule can be issued in the future. 

Letters

Committee Action

April 27, 2016: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing on the Bureau of Land Management's Regulatory Overreach into Methane Emissions Regulations
  • "Implementation of this rule will result in an anticipated loss in state revenue from royalties and taxes estimated to be $24 million per year. The impacts from this loss are expected to extend throughout the entire 30 year development life of the Bakken," - Director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms
  • Learn more HERE
May 19, 2016: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing on Examining Deficiencies in Transparency at the Department of the Interior
July 27, 2016: Letter to Department of the Interior former Secretary Sally Jewell
  • "This rule adds another layer of duplicative federal regulation on top of already existing federal and state regulations. The rule oversteps BLM’s regulatory jurisdiction, and completely fails to address crucial failures by the BLM to capture methane emissions through common sense methods such as timely right-of-way permitting."
  • Read the full letter HERE
July 2016: Government Accountability Office Report "Interior Could Do More to Account for and Manage Natural Gas Emissions"
  • "The vast majority of the requests cited limitations with existing infrastructure as the reason the operators needed to vent or flare gas, such as constrained pipeline capacity or problems with receiving gas plants."
  • Read the report HERE
A Better Way
  • "Regulations in search of a problem need to stop. For instance, oil and gas production has increased dramatically over the last decade while methane emissions from those wells have been kept under control, due largely to private sector initiatives. And yet the EPA and the BLM are still trying to increase regulations of those very same emissions." 
  • "[M]any natural-gas gathering line systems, which are an essential methane capture method at the wellhead, are tied up in the federal government’s bureaucratic right of way (ROW) permitting process. While the BLM 'strives to provide applicants a decision within 60 days of receipt'of an application, information provided to the House Natural Resources Committee clearly shows (chart below) that not one BLM regional office meets their own 60-day deadline – with some regions waiting over six-months for a decision."
  • "[T]here are instances where different agencies promulgate complex rulemakings on converging issues, such as methane emissions rulemakings by the Department of the Interior and the EPA, but do not provide enough time for the regulated community to thoroughly investigate how these requirements will overlap and affect entire field operations."

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Oversight Hearing “Examining Policy Impacts of Excessive Litigation Against the Department of the Interior”
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515
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