Energy Exchange

All pain, no gain: BLM methane rule rollback hurts Westerners, helps no one

The rhetoric of President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke might suggest they care about maximizing America’s abundant natural resources. However, their actions repeatedly prove the opposite.

Every day roughly one million dollars’ worth of American natural gas is lost from taxpayer-owned lands through flaring, intentional releases, and leaks. After first temporarily suspending measures to cut this waste, the Department of the Interior earlier this week proposed ‘replacing’ them with a measure that will turn the clock back to the 30-year-old rigged system that allows operators to waste this public resource with virtual impunity.

Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

The BLM rule should be in effect – what happened and what’s next?

January 17th should have been a positive milestone for Westerners and all Americans as limits on the unnecessary waste of American taxpayer-owned natural gas were slated to go into effect. Instead, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, who has repeatedly shown that the least responsible companies in the oil and gas industry have his ear, has suspended this rule and greenlit the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars that could have gone to infrastructure, roads, education, and more.

The careless act is part of a pattern from Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration of misusing taxpayer resources and cozying up to the most egregious polluters. Even worse, the administration defended its efforts to remove the “burden” of involving the public in decision-making on public lands in a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing.

Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

A timeline of Zinke's crusade against methane rules

Here’s a newly-minted cabinet secretary charged with managing 20 percent of the American landscape on behalf of taxpayers and 567 Native American tribes – presented with an opportunity to save his stakeholders millions without lifting a finger.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, inexplicably, is rejecting this broad public relations win to instead go to bat for the worst actors in the oil and gas industry who only focus on their own short-term bottom line.

Zinke is trying with all his might to halt an Obama-era rule that will reduce wasteful leaking, venting and flaring of natural gas on federal and tribal lands.

On the lands in Secretary Zinke’s charge, oil and gas companies waste around $330 million worth of natural gas annually. That’s enough gas to meet the heating and cooking needs of 1.5 million American homes – or every home in Chicago.

Such waste on land administered by Interior’s Bureau of Land Management also results in the needless emission of methane, volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants, all of which are threats to human health and the environment. Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Trump wants to reduce waste and grow jobs? Good, these methane policies do just that.

Casing-head gas

This post originally appeared on the EDF Voices blog.

Today, lawmakers are using the Congressional Review Act to dismantle common-sense energy policies that can save Americans hundreds of millions of dollars and prevent massive amounts of energy resources from being needlessly wasted.

The targeted policies from the Bureau of Land Management apply to oil and gas companies that operate on 245 million acres of federal and tribal lands. Since 2013, these operators have wasted more than $1.5 billion worth of natural gas that belongs to the American public, with millions in lost royalties as a result.

That comes to more than $1 million every day – hardly what President Trump had in mind when he promised to maximize our natural resources. Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, General, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

The $330 million question: Why new oil and gas waste rules are something we all should support

Pump jacks and storage tanks at oil field

Today the Bureau of Land Management finalized new rules that limit the amount of methane oil and gas companies can leak, vent, or flare on the 245 million acres of taxpayer-owned and tribal lands. This is a huge, $330 million dollar problem according to a recent study from ICF international. While an analysis from the Western Values Project estimates taxpayers could lose out on almost $800 million over the next decade – unless the BLM acts to reduce wasteful venting and flaring practices.

Reeling in waste of resources that belong to the nation’s tribes and taxpayers is an effort that folks from across the   political spectrum can get behind. Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, BLM Methane, Energy Efficiency, Methane, Natural Gas / Tagged | Comments are closed

BLM Tackles Waste, Methane Pollution on Federal and Tribal Lands

FrackingWyo_92689731_RFIn an important step forward in curbing methane emissions from the nation’s oil and gas sector, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced a regulatory proposal aimed at wasteful practices that shortchange taxpayers, squander energy resources and threaten the Earth’s climate.  The proposal, which will apply to both new and existing oil and gas facilities, begins to fill an important gap left by the EPA in August when that agency proposed to reduce emissions only from future facilities, ignoring the millions of oil and gas emissions sources already in operation.

Oil and gas companies that operate on our nation’s federal and tribal lands are exploiting a resource that belongs to the public and the Native American tribes.  These operators should be held to the highest standards when it comes to avoiding the waste of the resource and minimizing the pollution from their activities.

Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, Methane, Natural Gas / Tagged , | Comments are closed