WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, introduced S. J. Res 11 and H. J. Res. 36. These are joint resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) related to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule on methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian land. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states already regulate methane emissions from oil and gas sources.
If enacted, the resolution would ensure that BLM's final rule has no force or effect, and that BLM cannot issue a rule that is substantially the same without subsequent authorization from Congress. S. J. Res 11 is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).
“The Republican majority in Congress is taking action against excessive and unnecessary regulations. It is the job of the EPA and the states, not the Bureau of Land Management, to regulate air quality.
“Instead of enforcing a duplicative regulation, BLM should use its limited resources to permit natural gas pipelines on federal lands in a timely manner. Pipelines will help producers capture additional gas and get that gas to market. These projects will also create jobs and provide energy for Americans.
“I look forward to working with Chairman Bishop and other members to do away with this unnecessary and burdensome rule,” said Barrasso.“This rule is one of the most egregious abuses of power from the Obama administration designed to shut down responsible energy development on our federal lands,” Bishop stated. “When unelected bureaucrats and ideological aims supersede congressional intent and responsible regulation – as was the case with this rule – Congress has an obligation act. This is the first of many steps we will take to cut red tape that is forcing job losses in communities across the country and undercutting our domestic energy resource potential.”
On Nov. 18, 2016, BLM issued its final rule on “Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation,” (81 Fed. Reg. 83008).
The Congressional Review Act empowers Congress to review new federal regulations issued by government agencies. With the passage of a joint resolution and the signature of the president, Congress can overrule a regulation.