For immediate release: Feb. 3, 2017

In a close vote, the U.S. House of Representatives voted today to repeal the Bureau of Management (BLM) rule limiting methane and natural gas waste by oil and gas companies on public and tribal lands. The House used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) — a blunt, rarely used, legislative tool that allows Congress to repeal recently adopted federal regulations and prevents federal agencies from ever writing any rules that are “significantly similar.”

In response to the House vote Western Organization of Resource Councils Oil and Gas Campaign Team Chair Linda Weiss, of Belfield, N.D., released the following statement:

“It is disappointing that the House chose to use the Congressional Review Act in an attempt to roll back such a common-sense safeguard. This vote shows that the House, as a body, has decided to reject the will of the people in order to support the corporate greed of the oil and gas industry.

“A recently released Colorado College poll showed that 81 percent of Westerners supported common-sense safeguards that reduce methane waste from the oil and gas industry.

“To reject the BLM waste rule using the CRA prevents the BLM from ensuring taxpayers a fair share for their publicly-owned natural gas, which runs counter to the BLM’s legal obligation to American taxpayers. We will continue to work in the coming weeks to prevent the Senate from rolling back the BLM methane waste rule.”

Based in Billings, Mont., the Western Organization of Resource Councils is a seven-state network of grassroots community organizations working to strengthen communities and shape policies on energy and agriculture.