The below is encouraging: Senate ReThugs didn’t muster enough votes to repeal an Obama administration rule on methane emissions. I doubt the failed vote was about imaginary “angry Western land owners”; none of Senators who flipped — Collins (R-ME), Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Walnuts (R-AZ)– represent states where leaky gas wells are a huge factor. Much more likely is Graham and Walnuts’ virulent antipathy toward OMP, as well as Collins on-again, off-again playing at “liberal” for her home base. In any event, it’s good for the planet…
Some Republican lawmakers balked at fully embracing the Trump administration’s climate skepticism Wednesday, as the Senate failed to kill an Obama-era plan for containing methane emissions that had deep support among environmental activists and many landowners in the West.
Three Republican senators joined Democrats in blocking the effort to kill the methane restrictions that the GOP congressional leadership had been confident it could scuttle. The push to scrap the methane rules faltered amid an uprising of protest in Western states, where tens of thousands of residents near drilling operations risk exposure to the toxic compounds that leak in tandem with the methane.
At issue is 41 billion cubic feet of a greenhouse gas leaking from many of the nearly 100,000 oil and gas wells on federally owned land. Methane is among the most potent accelerators of global warming, 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.
A House vote in March to eliminate an Obama-era Bureau of Land Management rule requiring energy firms to trap the escaping gas and convert it to electricity was followed by a swift public backlash. Several Republican senators wavered on the measure in recent weeks.