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Bishop: Lackluster Emissions Accounting, Bureaucratic Incompetence Undergird Administration’s Methane Agenda
BLM Policies Undermine Solution: Adequate Energy Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2016 -

Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) accounting and management of natural gas emissions on onshore federal lands. Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:

“BLM is supposed to prohibit venting and flaring except under limited circumstances. This report found that the vast majority of requests for venting and flaring are due to infrastructure limitations. There’s no denying that infrastructure is the key to the solution which the BLM continues to ignore.”

According to GAO’s report: “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.” 

“The Administration’s lackluster accounting standards, failure to enforce existing rules and unwavering pursuit of harmful regulations are causing more problems rather than fixing them,” Bishop added.

BLM’s bureaucratic delays for pipeline rights-of-way permitting remain a major contributing factor to methane flaring. The BLM manual says they aim to process rights-of-way permits within 60 days. However, according to BLM’s own data, not a single area has met the 60-day deadline.

GAO’s report, "Interior Could Do More to Account for and Manage Natural Gas Emissions," can be viewed here.

Additional Highlights:

Page 13: “… BLM’s proposed methane and waste reduction regulations […] contain no guidance on how to estimate or measure natural gas emissions below those thresholds.”

Page 16: “BLM’s proposed methane and waste reduction regulations do not alter OGOR [Oil and Gas Operations Report] categories operators should use to report flared gas.”

Page 17: “In its proposed regulations, BLM has not provided additional guidance to operators on which activities should be included under the natural gas emissions reporting categories on the OGOR.”

Page 18: “BLM has approved operators’ requests to vent or flare gas royalty-free without having the documentation its guidance requires.”

Page 27: “Since Interior […] has limited guidance on how to report natural gas emissions, it cannot yet consistently account for these emissions on federal leases.”  

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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