The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) methane rule limits the amount of gas that oil and gas companies waste on America’s public lands. These commonsense safeguards conserve domestic energy resources and cut dangerous pollution in the air. Currently, enough taxpayer-owned natural gas is being wasted annually on America’s public lands to meet the needs of a city the size of Chicago for a year. Also, American taxpayers deserve their fair share of royalties from natural gas that is wasted. A Western Values Project report found that taxpayers stand to lose over $800 million in unpaid royalties over the next decade if the rule is gutted or repealed. That means that revenues that would have been returned to our communities in the form of funding for infrastructure projects, school improvements, and conservation efforts, would instead go up in flames. The BLM rule will ensure that taxpayers finally get their fair share of royalties, and that money goes into the coffers of our local communities.
Despite these concerns and after suffering a defeat in Congress, the Administration attempted to unilaterally pause the rule in June of this year. States, environmental groups, and tribal organizations filed a successful lawsuit challenging the President’s attempt to pause the rule. However, despite strong and vocal opposition from stakeholders and voters across the West, another attempt is expected to stay these rules in the coming weeks. You can editorialize and write letters to the editor in support of the BLM’s commonsense methane waste rule and call on Sec. Zinke to implement the rule as the Senate, the courts and the public across the U.S. have demanded.