1. Update
  2. Environment & Energy

Natural Gas Waste Rule Upheld

May 10, 2017


This morning marked a big victory for cutting harmful methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas emission that costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted resources.

The Senate failed to garner enough votes on a motion to proceed on a vote to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s Natural Gas Waste rule. This Obama-era regulation sought to limit the venting and flaring of methane from the oil and natural gas industries on public and tribal lands.

Natural gas flares from a flare-head at the Orvis State well on the Evanson family farm in McKenzie County, North Dakota, east of Arnegard and west of Watford City.

Methane is a greenhouse gas at least 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Nationwide, the U.S. loses about $2 billion worth of natural gas every year through preventable methane leaks and intentional releases through venting and flaring. Other toxic pollutants in the natural gas mix are also released, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, which cause asthma and other smog-induced respiratory problems.

Earlier this year, the House voted to overturn the rule. The vote today in the Senate, which failed 49-51, was critical for protecting our natural resources, public health, and climate.

FCNL thanks the constituents around the country who called their members of Congress in support of upholding this rule.

We thank the Senators who voted to uphold the rule: John McCain (R-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and all of the Democrats and Independents.

We also thank the members of Congress in the House of Representatives, who earlier this year voted to uphold the rule, and included Brian Fitzpatrick (R, PA-08), Pat Meehan (R, PA-07), Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), Ryan Costello (R, PA-06), John Katko (R, NY-24), Mark Sanford (R, SC-01), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R, FL-27), Carlos Curbelo (R, FL-26), David Reichert (R, WA-08), John Faso (R, NY-19), Brian Mast (R, FL-18), and all of the Democrats.