Since President Donald Trump has taken office Republicans have nullified 13 regulations adopted by the previous administration by using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a 1996 law that allows lawmakers to overturn rules within 60 days of their adoption if the president signs the bill into law. When McCain cast his vote with a forceful thumbs down, another senator on the floor reacted with a shrug at McCain.
While gas leaks are found throughout natural-gas infrastructure, including pipelines, Grossman says the BLM rules only apply to wellheads and compressor stations. Jon Tester, D-Mont. The deadline to overturn regulations issued by the Obama administration under the act is this week. The state's Republican senator, Steve Daines, voted to strike the regulation.
"This rule hurts Montanans and does little to reduce emissions", Daines said. "We can keep our commitment to people or we can let polluters off the hook", she said.
Around $330 million of methane either leaks out of pipes or is intentionally burned off in the USA every year.
Gas flaring is so prevalent in oil-rich North Dakota that night-time flaring activity on drilling sites is visible in NASA photos from space.
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Although Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to impose regulations on existing gas infrastructure, draft rules from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection, released earlier this year, only would apply to new facilities. Supporters say it will reduce waste and pollution and boost federal royalties, while the industry says it is costly, unnecessary and would discourage production, and thus reduce royalties.
A Republican push to kill an Obama-era rule restricting methane emissions from the oil and gas industry fell short today.
American Petroleum Institute's Erik Milito, upstream director, called the rule "an unnecessary and costly misstep" from the BLM and warned that it "could impede USA energy production while reducing local and federal government revenues".
Gleeful Democrats hailed the vote as a breakthrough in the GOP-controlled Congress. GOP Sens. Susan Collins, Maine, and Lindsey Graham, S.C., have said they will vote against it, and Cory Gardner, Colo., and Dean Heller, Nev., have not disclosed their decisions.
Oil and gas operations often burn off excess methane. It was instituted with the goal of reducing methane emissions released during the natural gas production process on public and Indian land.
Jamie Williams, president of the Wilderness Society, an environmental group that had pushed to defend the Obama rule, said the Senate vote was the result of grassroots efforts by voters across the country.
"We're disappointed the Senate wasn't able to stop President Obama's unworkable rule by a federal agency that does not have the Congressionally-granted authority to regulate air quality", said Barry Russell, CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).