Western Energy Alliance Disappointed the Senate Cannot Rein in Executive Branch Overreach

May 10, 2017

DENVER - Today, the Senate failed to even consider debating the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution overturning the unlawful Bureau of Land Management (BLM) venting and flaring rule. The rule is a vast overreach of Executive Branch authority, as BLM usurped EPA and state authority granted by Congress in the Clean Air Act.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed the Senate didn’t even have the wherewithal to debate overturning the rule on the floor,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “The Senate has voted to deny taxpayers $110 million in revenue every year. Western Energy Alliance, IPAA and four states will continue to make the case in court that the rule is a vast overreach of BLM authority. The district court judge expressed grave doubts about BLM’s authority to regulate air quality, and we and the states will continue to press that point.

“We’ll also be working closely with the Department of the Interior on reviewing and rescinding this rule. BLM has the authority to regulate waste, but that’s not what it did in this rule. It imposed air quality controls that read almost verbatim from EPA rules. BLM has neither the authority nor expertise to regulate air quality, and we know that Secretary Zinke understands that fact. While we were hoping for a clean break through the CRA process, we will just roll up our sleeves and continue to work to overturn this rule.

“Thank you to Senator John Barrasso for all his hard work on this CRA resolution. Ultimately, it failed because three Republicans and an oil state Democrat were unwilling to constrain federal overreach. The oil and natural gas industry has done more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than any other, including wind and solar. That success, along with our long-term reduction in methane emissions by 21 percent was trumped by the environmental lobby’s misinformation about a rule that will continue to drive responsible energy production off federal lands.”