Think about this, more than $300 million of natural gas are wasted on our public lands each year. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke wants to give the oil and gas industry a free pass to dump millions of tons of pollution into the air, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of our energy resources by suspending the recently enacted Bureau of Land Management methane rules.
The rules underwent five years of public input and hearings. They benefit all Montanans, reducing waste of methane at oil and gas production facilities due to practices like flaring, venting and leaky equipment. These air emissions not only damage air quality, they also waste usable energy and impact the climate. Despite these benefits, this winter Congress attempted to roll back the rule, and failed. Then this summer, Zinke tried to delay the rule without public input, only to be overridden by the courts on Oct. 4. The day following the court ruling overriding Zinke’s delay, he proposed yet another delay of the rule with a mere 30 days of public comment allowed.
The nonstop attempts to rescind, repeal, or delay this rule make it clear that some politicians would rather appease the oil and gas industry's desire to pollute rather than do what is right.
Let Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration know that people want the BLM methane rule to remain intact. I urge my fellow Montanans to send comments urging the BLM to implement and enforce the Methane rule without any delays.