September 18, 2018

Udall Statement on Trump Rollback of Methane and Waste Prevention Rule

‘Another egregious giveaway to irresponsible polluters’

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Department of the Interior’s budget, released the following statement on reports that the Department of the Interior will announce a major revision designed to weaken the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Methane and Waste Prevention Rule.

Udall led the effort in the Senate to successfully defeat the attempt to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the rule.

“Today’s rollback of the Methane Waste and Prevention Rule is another egregious giveaway to irresponsible polluters. BLM’s own analysis found that scrapping the methane rule would lead to more than $1 billion in wasted natural gas and pollution. This wasteful decision will hit New Mexico the hardest, where royalty resources are sorely needed, and where a methane cloud the size of the Delaware is hovering over the Four Corners region.

“The methane rule was established with wide support after years of open dialogue and stakeholder involvement. And the evidence is clear: this rule has had no negative effect on job creation or on the booming U.S. oil and gas production on federal lands. That’s why the methane rule was upheld by a bipartisan vote in the United States Senate – despite heavy lobbying from some in the oil and gas industry. But now, the Trump administration is rushing through a rollback of the rule without a single public hearing, and against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Westerners who filed public comments. Over 98 percent of the 600,000 comments BLM received opposed the repeal – but the Trump administration isn’t listening.

“Once again, the Trump administration is doing the bidding of a handful of corporate polluters and ignoring the voices of regular people in the West and around the country. With federal leadership failing under the Trump administration, states like New Mexico and responsible natural gas producers must step up and act to stop methane emissions on their own, or natural gas risks losing out in the future clean energy economy.”