Will the Senate Put Special Interests Ahead of Taxpayers?

Don’t let taxpayer dollars go up in smoke by scrapping the BLM Methane Waste Rule.

The Senate may vote very soon to revoke a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule that prevents wasting methane when drilling for oil and gas on public lands as a deadline looms. Taxpayers could conservatively lose upwards of $800 million over the next decade, royalties that would literally just go up in flames if senators vote for this sweetheart giveaway.

The resolution slithered its way through the House in early February in one of the closest Congressional Review Act votes to-date at the behest of the Oil & Gas Industry, who have made repealing the rule a top priority since President Trump came into office.

You may ask yourself why would your elected official vote to waste $800 million in taxpayer royalties? One answer: money. A review by the Center for Western Priorities shows that the 17 sponsors of the resolution have received nearly $17 million in political donations from oil & gas interests, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hauling in $1.97 million himself.

Some Senators have done the right thing in putting taxpayers first by saying no to this backwards rule repeal, while others still can’t decide who comes first special interests or taxpayers. As of March, it has been reported that a number of senators were still undecided.

It’s surprising to see senators still sitting on the fence even though a poll conducted by Colorado College in January found that 83% of Coloradans, 81% of Arizonians, 79% of Nevadans and an average of 81% of Westerners supported the rule.

A similar survey conducted by the conservative group Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) found strong support for the rule across party lines, with 80% supporting the rule in both Tennessee and Ohio, and a whopping 83% in Nevada and 86% in Colorado support keeping this commonsense rule.

It’s not every day you see bipartisan support of any issue near and above 80 percent. But, like you’d expect, most voters don’t appreciate waste, especially when some politician in Washington, D.C. is wasting their tax dollars for special interests.

This resolution would not only cost taxpayers millions in royalties, it would prevent the BLM or any other federal agencies from writing any future rule that is ‘sustainably the same.’ That essentially means oil & gas interests would get to waste taxpayer royalties in perpetuity. Talk about taking a sludgehammer to taxpayers for special interests.

Voters are seeing through the special interest fog of methane and have urged their senators to support the rule, and, thus far, have rebutted attempts to repeal it. However, continued pressure by special interests could flip that any day, costing taxpayers millions. If that’s the case, don’t be surprised if voters flip their vote next election cycle.

Join the effort to strengthen the American West.