Studies show repealing the BLM methane rule would actually lower natural gas production, wouldn’t create jobs

(BISMARCK, ND) – Congressman Kevin Cramer and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke have had a lot to say about the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) methane rule – but much of it hasn’t been true. According to a recent analysis by the U.S. Department of the Interior, rolling back the rule wouldn’t create new jobs and it would actually lower natural gas production – not increase it.

“There’s been no stronger champion for North Dakota’s energy economy than Heidi, and it’s a shame that Cramer and his Washington smear machine have turned to bold-faced lies to distort her record,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. 

Here are two articles that show why the BLM rule is actually good for North Dakota:

The Bismarck Tribune: Preventing gas waste will be beneficial

  •  Gas that leaks or flares from America’s public lands benefits no one. That’s why regulations to prevent waste can provide broad benefits.
  • The BLM’s Methane and Waste Prevention rule is not a threat to “energy independence,” because it actually encourages putting more gas in the production pipeline.
  • On Feb. 22, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick in California issued a preliminary injunction against BLM’s rule rollback. He found that the BLM’s decision to delay methane waste reduction was “untethered to evidence.”
  • All oil and gas producers on public lands should be held accountable for the actual costs of production — and lost production when gas that should generate royalties goes up in smoke.
  • The 2016 waste prevention rule is common sense and good stewardship of the public’s natural resources. The BLM should stop obstructing its own well-researched 2016 rule.

POLITICO Pro (paywall): BLM analysis: Lower gas production, no job growth under new methane rule

  • The Trump administration’s proposed roll back of an Obama-era rule cracking down on methane emissions would actually lower natural gas production without generating new jobs — contrary to its backers claims, according to a draft rule analysis.
  • The analysis of the new rule contradicts Interior Department claims that reducing the requirements in the methane waste rule finalized in late 2016 would remove constraints on oil and gas production, an argument in line with President Donald Trump’s calls to boost the domestic energy industry.
  • But the latest proposal, as written by Interior and lauded by Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming and House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah, would actually reduce natural gas supply from federal lands by 229 billion cubic feet over 10 years, according to the analysis from the Bureau of Land Management, the Interior agency that would be in charge of implementing the new rule.
  • It could also reinforce the reasons that even some Republicans have stated in their reticence to rolling back the old rule. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) voted against repealing the Obama-era methane rule via a Congressional Review Act maneuver last year that Republicans had used to kill numerous other Obama-era rules.