U.S. SENATE VOTES TO REINSTATE METHANE RULES DUMPED BY TRUMP
Congressional Democrats are moving to reinstate regulations designed to limit climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas fields, as part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to tackle climate change, Matthew Daly reported for the Associated Press (AP).
The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday that would undo an environmental rollback by President Donald Trump that relaxed requirements of a 2016 Obama administration rule targeting methane emissions from oil and gas drilling.
The resolution was approved, 52-42. Three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rob Portman of Ohio — joined 49 Democrats to approve the measure, which only needed a simple majority under Senate rules. Five Republicans and one Democrat did not vote.
The legislation now goes to the Democratic-controlled House, where it is expected to win approval.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the looser methane rule last year.
The agency’s former administrator, Andrew Wheeler, declared the change would “strengthen and promote American energy″ while saving companies tens of millions of dollars a year in compliance requirements.
Democrats and environmentalists called it one of the Trump administration’s most egregious actions to deregulate US businesses. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, packing a stronger punch in the short term than even carbon dioxide.
Preventing methane leaks at oil and gas sites “is a huge part of how we prevent a 1.5 degree (Celsius) rise in global temperatures,″ a key aim of the climate movement, said Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.