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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Senate Saves Methane Rule

Air Date: Week of

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A gas flare burns at an oil well site in Mountrail County, North Dakota. The Obama Administration’s Methane Waste and Prevention Rule required oil and gas companies to slash their methane emissions from activities on public lands. (Photo: gfpeck, Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)

Host Steve Curwood notes that three Republican Senators voted with Democrats to oppose the use of the Congressional Review Act to overturn Obama’s rule to control venting and flaring of the powerful greenhouse gas methane from public lands.


CURWOOD: And in other Capitol Hill news, on May 10th, the Senate refused to repeal an Obama regulation on methane emissions under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to roll back rules made within 60 legislative days. This marks the first time under the Trump Administration that Senate action did not align with the President’s public position. Three Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, and Susan Collins of Maine joined every Democrat to retain the methane rule, which the House had already voted to kill. It requires industries drilling or mining on public lands and offshore to sharply cut the flaring and venting of the powerful global warming gas methane. The rule is still vulnerable to repeal though, using regular rule making procedures, but that could take years. So, for now the Obama methane restrictions still stand.



Washington Post: “Senate unexpectedly rejects bid to repeal a key Obama-era environmental regulation”

FiveThirtyEight data tracking when each member of the House and Senate votes with or against President Trump

Original press release from Department of the Interior announcing the methane rule


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