With Montana going through a budget crisis right now, it does not make sense for its elected federal representatives to waste taxpayer dollars. We want our elected officials to do what’s best for Montana. That means voting against backdoor industry attempts to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s much-needed and cost-effective methane waste rule.

Oil and gas companies waste $330 million worth of taxpayer-owned natural gas while drilling on federal lands. A large portion of that lost revenue would otherwise go to help fund important services for nearby communities.

The BLM took a considerable amount of time — with extensive public input — to create a smart, clean air protection rule that curbs needless waste, cuts pollution and creates significant local revenue. But some folks in the oil industry dislike this commonsense rule. And unfortunately, their allies in Congress are searching for ways to repeal it or prevent implementation of the rule. On Sept. 8, the U.S. House successfully added an amendment to a must-pass funding bill to stop implementation of the rule. Montana's lone Congressman, Greg Gianforte, voted for this bad amendment.

We should not tolerate these legislative ploys. If Gianforte and others want to block a common-sense rule, they should have to pass their own bill, not sneak it into a must-pass bill. We should insist that our representatives act with integrity and protect the BLM waste prevention rule.

Edward Barta