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Senate Vote to Repeal Methane Regulations on Public Lands Falls Short

The Senate dealt an unexpected blow to the fossil-fuel industry on Wednesday by failing to reverse an Obama-era regulation limiting the methane emission from oil and gas wells on federal lands.  The regulation requires energy companies to capture methane that would otherwise be flared at drilling sites. 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who surprised many with his no-vote Wednesday, said: “I believe that the public interest is best served if the Interior Department issues a new rule to revise and improve the (existing) methane rule.”  Opponents of the regulation said that they will not refocus the effort on getting the current administration to rewrite the rule.

The 1996 Congressional Review Act allows Congress to overturn agency regulation within sixty legislative days of the rule’s adoption.  The measure to repeal the methane regulations failed by a vote of 51 to 49 in the Senate.  The Republican Congress has successfully overturned thirteen other regulations with the 1996 Act since Trump took office.

 Click here for more information on the Senate vote.