Hoeven: BLM Proposes Delaying Methane Rule Until 2019

Senator Continues Efforts to Reduce Flaring, Provide Regulatory Relief to Develop Gas-Gathering Infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today issued the following statement after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it is proposing to delay its methane regulation until January 2019. The previous administration finalized the methane rule last November, which imposes duplicative requirements on energy development on federal and Indian lands on top of the air quality standards of the states and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Hoeven cosponsored and voted for a resolution to repeal BLM’s methane rule earlier this year, and the agency proposed today’s delay as part of its ongoing work to review and rescind the rule.

“The BLM methane rule imposed unworkable and duplicative requirements on our energy industry,” Hoeven said. “We can address flaring without imposing unnecessary costs and undermining our energy production. We continue working to advance the effort to repeal this rule while also providing the regulatory relief needed to deploy gas-gathering infrastructure and capture this valuable resource.”

As a member of the Senate Energy and Appropriations Committees, Hoeven has worked to reduce natural gas flaring by addressing the BLM’s backlog of permit applications for gas-gathering infrastructure and pressing for workable, state-led regulations. To this end, the senator helped introduce the bipartisan Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act last Congress, which sets deadlines for and expedites the permitting of natural gas gathering lines on federal and Indian land.

Hoeven also joined the president and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to implement orders to stop overly burdensome regulations, including BLM’s methane and hydraulic fracturing regulations, the EPA’s costly rules for coal generating power plants and the moratorium on federal coal leasing. In addition, Hoeven has worked to:

  • Stop the Waters of the U.S. Rule – Hoeven worked through the Appropriations Committee to defund the regulation in 2016 and 2017. In February, the president signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to rescind or revise the rule.
  • Repeal the Stream Buffer Rule – Hoeven helped introduce and pass legislation to rescind the one-size-fits-all Stream Buffer Rule, which was primarily based on mining practices in the Appalachian region and threatened to eliminate thousands of mining jobs.
  • Rescind BLM “Planning 2.0” – Hoeven cosponsored and helped pass a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal the rule. This maintained multiple-use requirements for federal lands, including energy development.