Eliminating Methane Rules Would Significantly Increase Emissions Of Harmful Greenhouse Gases – The Equivalent Of Adding 950,000 Vehicles To The Road

Schneiderman: Congressional Republicans Have Shown Once Again That They’re More Interested In Profiting Big Oil Than Protecting Average Americans 

NEW YORK— Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, along with the Attorneys General of Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont; the California Environmental Protection Agency; and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer opposing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would void important safeguards that are vital to controlling the leaking, venting, and flaring of methane from oil and natural gas developments on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Methane is a potent climate change pollutant.

“Congressional Republicans have shown once again that they’re more interested in profiting Big Oil than protecting average Americans. The BLM Methane Rule is a cost-effective, common-sense approach to controlling the waste and pollution created by oil and gas companies,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.  “A Congressional rollback of this rule would be an annual handout of millions of dollars to oil and gas companies, paid for by taxpayers and at the expense of New Yorkers’ and Americans’ health, safety, and environment.”

The Mineral Leasing Act obligates the federal government to ensure that any operators “use all reasonable precautions to prevent waste of oil or gas.” On November 15, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management announced it had finalized its updated regulations to reduce the waste of natural gas from flaring, venting, and leaks from oil and gas production operations on public and tribal lands.  The final rule applies to existing and newly proposed oil and gas operations. 

The BLM Methane Rule is estimated to save enough gas to supply up to about 740,000 households each year.  Overall, the rule will reduce flaring by an estimated 49 percent and venting and leaks by roughly 35 percent, as compared to 2014 rates. Eliminating the BLM Methane Rule would potentially result in an additional 180,000 tons of methane emissions per year, roughly equivalent to pollution of up to 950,000 vehicles—or roughly 2.5% of New York’s total annual emissions of greenhouse gases.

Estimates from the Government Accountability Office predict that rolling back the BLM Methane Rule would cost states, tribes and federal taxpayers as much as $23 million annually in royalty revenues that are lost to uncontrolled venting, flaring, and leaking. Overall, the rule can potentially save hundreds of millions over the next decade, including savings from the recovery and sale of natural gas and public health costs.

Because the disapproval of a rule under the CRA also means that an agency cannot issue any substantially similar rules, the States expressed their significant concern that such disapproval here could be construed to indefinitely bar BLM from regulating in the area of resource waste prevention—a task which it is statutorily mandated to perform.

Read the full letter sent to the Senate here.

A.G. Schneiderman has made clear that he stands ready to use the full power of his office to compel enforcement of our nation’s environmental laws. In January, he joined eight other A.G.’s in sending a letter urging members of the U.S. Senate Environmental and Public Workers Committee to reject the nomination of Oklahoma A.G. Scott Pruittto lead the EPA. He also spoke out against President Trump’s ordered freeze of EPA grants and contracts. In December, Schneiderman led a coalition of 19 states and localities calling on President-elect Trump to continue the federal government’s defense of the Clean Power Plan and reject the “misguided” advice to discard the plan. 

A.G. Schneiderman has initiated litigation along with states across the country to defend critical environmental and clean energy policies, including the Clean Power Plan, the “Waters of the U.S.” rule, and EPA regulations to reduce emissions of methane in the oil and gas industry.

About Michael Killen Helps Organizations Share Their Important Climate and Energy Action Message

Michael Killen is the founder and leader of Killen & Associates, Inc., a global consulting services and marketing company located in Silicon Valley. Killen & Associates has published over 400 market and industry research studies and a dozen white papers; produced 700 TV shows, and made some of the most important paintings that help its clients bring attention to their climate solutions. Michael is the developer of a methodology of strategy and author of five books - Introduction to Programming: A Mathematical Approach; IBM: The Making of the Common View (also translated and printed in Japanese); a 3-book series on IBM's complex architecture strategy [SAA: Imaging Processing, SAA: Managing Distributed Data, SAA and UNIX: IBM’s Open Systems Strategy]. At the start of a new decade in 2020, Killen & Associates announced a new major project that stops climate change before it ends civilization as we know it by focusing on what matters most. Helping Governments, non profits, utility companies and energy supplier communities, not just identify four of the most promising climate action solutions to support, but also to promote those approaches. Michael heads this project called ‘Climate Change Solutions that Save Civilization: Concentrate on What Matters Most’. Global organizations and executives from AT&T, IBM, MasterCard, Toshiba, Siemens, British Telecom, the US National Security Agency, Hewlett Packard, General Electric, Phillips of Holland have all benefitted from the consulting service of Killen & Associates. The studies allowed executives to think clearly about emerging opportunities and threats. TV shows assisted executives in sharing their messages globally. The only company of its kind, Killen & Associates also produces art for major events. The US Department of Commerce, US Department of Interior, Stanford University, Governor's Office of California, have all displayed Michael's art at their events. NASA selected Michael to make "Sustainability" (5ft X 24ft). This June (2020) will be the eighth year Stanford has displayed his paintings at their annual Silicon Valley Energy Summit. Contact me to discuss my art and sharing your message on my show to global audiences. Follow me on Twitter @KillenMichael or YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/ZeitgeistKillen.
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