Senate has until week of May 8 to vote on methane rule

We all knew there was a possibility of last minute additions to the president’s executive order on energy and environmental policy – and that’s appears to be what happened with the decision to include methane restrictions under the broad call for agencies to review the policies of the previous administration. But while President Trump included the methane in Tuesday’s EO, that action should not be construed to mean Sen. John Barrasso’s (R-Wyo.) Senate Joint Resolution 11 to nullify the Bureau of Land Management’s rule on the venting and flaring of methane is no longer needed. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) process is still preferred. Unraveling the methane rule at the agency level will require months of staff work and will undoubtedly face vigorous legal challenges from environmental groups that could delay it for up to two years. On the other hand, Senate passage of a disapproval resolution under the CRA would be quick and efficient, saving both the agency time and resources. Senate Republican leaders remain committed to bringing up Sen. Barrasso’s resolution as soon as they have the votes. That whip operation continues. A CRA resolution of disapproval requires a simple majority of 51 votes to pass the Senate,…

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Clock is ticking on Senate disapproval resolution on BLM methane rule

Happy Friday. You made it. What now?

If you’re a member of the House of Representatives, you still have a vote on the repeal of Obama’s signature health care law to look forward to later today. While the whip count in the House continues, one thing that is clear is that next week’s Senate calendar will look a whole lot different if the House does not vote on repeal-and-replace legislation today.

The Senate has been holding the floor calendar open in anticipation of health care legislation coming over from the House, and at this moment it’s unclear what could take its place. One piece of unfinished business is the disapproval resolution on the Bureau of Land Management’s methane venting and flaring rule.

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Recapturing America’s Competitive Advantage on the Outer Continental Shelf

After eight years of retreat, it’s time for America to charge back into the energy-rich waters of the outer continental shelf and secure once and for all its rightful place as an energy superpower.

With his ambition to return America to its glory days and reassert the nation’s influence on the world stage, President Donald Trump would do well to start with energy security and a bottoms-up review of the energy policies put in place by his predecessor.

To do that, the president needs a full team of experienced and knowledgeable staff at the U.S. Department of the Interior and its agencies.

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Stop federal overreach: Repeal BLM’s duplicative and costly venting and flaring rule

In the coming days, members of the U.S. Senate will have the opportunity to do something substantial to rein in federal overreach. They will have the chance to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) methane venting and flaring rule. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 221 to 191 to overturn the rule. Now it’s up to the Senate. The BLM rule was set in motion in the waning days of President Barack Obama’s administration to minimize venting and flaring of natural gas on federal and Indian lands. But the rule is a classic case of a federal agency overstepping. It is redundant, as states have rules in place that minimize methane emissions, and industry has deployed technologies to reduce emissions. In many cases, BLM’s rule conflicts with these effective state regulations. BLM also does not have the authority to implement this rule. Congress delegated regulation of the nation’s air quality specifically to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), not BLM. Because natural gas is mostly methane, capturing methane is already in the best interest of every oil and gas producer. In fact, industry investments and existing state regulations have reduced…

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America’s abundant energy driving investment

Every year the Progressive Policy Institute publishes a list of investment heroes, ranking both financial and nonfinancial firms based on their capital expenditure. These figures are very important for us, as our name indicates, we believe that for a healthy economy, we need strong capital formation. We have been lucky to work with some of the big investors on that list. It is not a secret that ACCF works heavily on energy issues, which also have strong implications for capital formation. Growth requires energy – energy investment fuels economic growth. One of our members who has been a staple on the PPI list just announced major investment plans in Gulf of Mexico: Exxon Mobil’s decision to expand its investment – to the tune of $20 billion over 10 years – in its refining and chemical manufacturing facilities in the Gulf of Mexico energy-producing states of Texas and Louisiana to take advantage of America’s energy revolution. This is exactly the kind of private investment our country needs to get back on its feet. Our nation’s energy resources offer an amazing competitive advantage that, if harnessed, will generate economic activity and create badly-needed jobs. We need more news like this kind. U.S.…

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FERC Quorum Critical to Advancing President’s Infrastructure Agenda

And then there were two. The abrupt resignation of Norman Bay last month left the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with just two members – one shy of the three-commissioner quorum required to vote on major energy policies. FERC has now gone a month without a working quorum and the White House – with 517 nominations out of the 552 requiring Senate confirmation still to name – has been mum about potential candidates for the independent agency responsible for regulating the nation’s wholesale energy markets. It’s conceivable that the new president is unaware of the economic significance of FERC-regulated wires and pipes – which, according to a 2013 report by the Congressional Research Service, carries energy worth $435 billion annually – but the lack of a quorum is still bad news for the nation’s utilities, pipeline companies, and consumers that rely on the agency to provide a stable and predictable regulatory regime. It also poses a potential roadblock to President Trump’s promise to advance a $1 trillion infrastructure plan and revitalize America’s manufacturing sector, perhaps the two most bipartisan items on his agenda. Nearly 100 members of Congress, as well as representatives from the energy, chemical, and manufacturing sectors,…

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