Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
weather sponsored by
Hickory Estates of Taylorville




Advanced Search
search sponsored by


LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE




KMRM

home : news : national news free May 29, 2017

   
5/10/2017 2:54:00 PM
Senate blocks move to overturn Obama rule on drilling

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a surprising win for environmentalists and Democrats and a blow to the fossil-fuel industry, the Senate on Wednesday failed in a bid to reverse an Obama-era regulation restricting harmful methane emissions that escape from oil and gas wells on federal land.

The vote was 51-49 in the Republican-led Senate with three GOP lawmakers — Maine’s Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona — joining forces with the Democrats to block efforts to overturn the rule.

Graham and Collins had publicly opposed the repeal effort, but McCain’s vote surprised many on both sides of the debate.

McCain said in a statement he is concerned that the Interior Department rule may be “onerous,” but said passage of a resolution undoing the rule through the Congressional Review Act would have prevented the federal government from issuing a similar rule in the future.

“I believe that the public interest is best served if the Interior Department issues a new rule to revise and improve the (existing) methane rule” administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management, McCain said. 

The Obama administration finalized a rule in November that would force energy companies to capture methane that’s burned off or “flared” at drilling sites because it earns less money than oil.

Energy companies frequently “flare” or burn off vast supplies of methane — the primary component of natural gas — at drilling sites because it earns less money than oil. An estimated $330 million a year in natural gas is wasted through leaks or intentional releases — enough to power about 5 million homes a 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.

For months, Republicans have rammed through reversals of rules issued by President Barack Obama on issues including gun rights, coal production, hunting and money for family planning clinics. The GOP has used the previously obscure Congressional Review Act, which requires just a simple majority in both chambers to overturn rules recently imposed by the executive branch.

The latest target was the Interior Department rule on methane.

A coalition of groups with ties to the fossil-fuel industry and the conservative Koch Brothers had waged a public campaign to overturn the rule, which they said would decrease energy production on federal lands, raise energy costs and eliminate jobs.

Republicans and industry groups call the rule an example of federal overreach under Obama and say it duplicates state rules in place throughout the West.

Democrats and environmental groups countered that the rule protects the public health and generates millions of dollars in revenue for state, local and tribal governments.

Gleeful Democrats hailed the vote as a breakthrough in the GOP-controlled Congress.

The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s top lobbying group, called the Senate vote disappointing, but said in a statement it looks forward to working with the Trump administration on policies to boost energy production.




Anderson Jewelers




Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   










Dr Paul The Dentist
Trinity Dodge Fixed

NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact Us
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved