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Senate Rejects CRA Repeal of Methane Rule

May 2017

The U.S. Senate this week rejected a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to revoke a Department of Interior rule to limit methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands.  The measure failed in a vote of 49 to 51.  Republicans and the Trump administration had sought to overturn the Obama-era rule, seen as a hindrance to domestic oil and gas production.

Not all Republicans supported the effort to overturn the regulation, however.  Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins all voted against the measure, noting that the CRA resolution would prevent the federal government from taking similar action in the future.

"While I am concerned that the BLM rule may be onerous, passage of the resolution would have prevented the federal government, under any administration, from issuing a rule that is ‘similar’," McCain said in a statement.

The oil and gas industry has called the methane rule unnecessary, saying it would hamper production and cost them tens or thousands of dollars per well.  Opponents of the rule sill have an opportunity pursue legal action or work with the DOI to rewrite the rule.

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