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Chairmen Bishop and Barrasso Take Aim at Methane Rule under Congressional Review Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 30, 2017 -

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced H. J. Res. 36 and S. J. Res 11. These are joint resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act related to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule on methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian land. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states already regulate methane emissions from oil and gas sources.

If enacted, the resolution would ensure that BLM's final rule has no force or effect, and that BLM cannot issue a rule that is substantially the same without subsequent authorization from Congress.

“This rule is one of the most egregious abuses of power from the Obama administration designed to shut down responsible energy development on our federal lands. When unelected bureaucrats and ideological aims supersede congressional intent and responsible regulation – as was the case with this rule – Congress has an obligation act. This is the first of many steps we will take to cut red tape that is forcing job losses in communities across the country and undercutting our domestic energy resource potential,” Bishop stated.  

The Republican majority in Congress is taking action against excessive and unnecessary regulations,” Barrasso said. “It is the job of the EPA and the states, not the Bureau of Land Management, to regulate air quality. Instead of enforcing a duplicative regulation, BLM should use its limited resources to permit natural gas pipelines on federal lands in a timely manner. Pipelines will help producers capture additional gas and get that gas to market. These projects will also create jobs and provide energy for Americans.

Background Information:

On Nov. 18, 2016, BLM issued its final rule on “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation,” (81 Fed. Reg. 83,008).

The Congressional Review Act empowers Congress to review new federal regulations issued by government agencies. With the passage of a joint resolution and the signature of the president, Congress can overrule a regulation.

Click here for additional information on the rule.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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