Letter: Uphold BLM rules on methane waste – Billings Gazette, Feb. 14, 2017

February 15, 2017

Categories: Congress, News, Oil and gas

In 2016, I traveled to Dickinson, North Dakota, for a Department of the Interior hearing concerning preventing the waste of methane from oil and gas drilling on Bureau of Land Management lands. An overwhelming number of those who gave testimony were in favor of updating regulations to prevent methane loss when drilling on these lands. New regulations were approved in December that curtail flaring, venting, and leaking of oil and gas wells that are developing publicly own minerals. The gases that are now being wasted at these wells have monetary value which should be realized for the American public. The American public was losing an estimated $330 million yearly because of this waste. Methane is also three times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2, making its loss into the atmosphere a major concern. The accompanying byproducts released are also a serious health hazard especially where extensive drilling has occurred.

In the next few days Congress will try to repeal these waste prevention protections using the Congressional Review Act. The CRA allows Congress to kill new regulations which an agency has put into effect within the last 60 days and prevents any similar regulations from being enacted in the future. So, if this goes through, the Department of the Interior will not be allowed to prevent methane waste on BLM lands now or in the future.

Please contact Sen. Steve Daines and Sen. Jon Tester and ask them to uphold the BLM methane rules.

Susann Beug
Red Lodge

http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/uphold-blm-rules-on-methane-waste/article_2c2d4c83-5c58-5b3b-a8eb-7556fa07aa99.html?=sdfd

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