THE DAILY WHIP: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2017

House Meets At:First Vote Predicted:Last Vote Predicted:
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”
10:00 – 10:30 a.m.10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

H.J.Res. 36 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Bureau of Land Management relating to "Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation" (Rep. Bishop (UT) – Natural Resources) (One hour of debate).  The resolution disapproves of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Methane Waste Final Rule which was published in November of 2016.  This rule requires that oil and gas producers implement measures and limits to intentional venting, flaring, and leakage of methane from new and existing oil and gas producers on federal lands in order to reduce natural gas waste and prevent harm to the environment, as methane is a potent greenhouse gas and a precursor to ground-level ozone.  The rule will save up to 41 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year, enough to supply up to 740,000 households, and allow the government to earn up to $14 million in additional royalties that will go to states and the federal treasury.  Additionally, the rule will result in 175,000 to 180,000 fewer tons of methane emissions each year, equivalent to the emissions of nearly 1 million vehicles.

Supporters of H.J.Res. 36 argue that the Interior Department exceeded its authority in the implementation of the rule, but the department worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to avoid inconsistency or redundancy in regulations.  Opponents of the rule also argue that the failure to capture methane results from BLM permitting delays slowing the construction of pipelines to gather gas.  The oil and gas industry and several states have filed a lawsuit over these two issues, but a judge recently rejected an industry request for a preliminary injunction on the rule, and a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that only 9% of venting and flaring applications to BLM were due to lack of infrastructure.

Undoing this rule will result in the loss of jobs and valuable resources in the expanding methane control industry.  Approximately 80% of voters in Western states support requirements for companies to capture and sell methane instead of burning this resource in the air.  This rule was carefully and transparently crafted over a period of several years in conjunction with industry professionals and the public through meetings, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of comments.  Now Republicans want to undo the rule in one brief, partisan debate.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the Committee on Natural Resources.

Bill Text for H.J.Res. 36:
PDF Version

 
The Daily Quote

“The fallout Monday from President Trump’s sweeping immigration order exposed painful rifts within the Republican Party, alarmed members of his Cabinet and fueled suspicions among his top advisers. That left the defiant commander in chief stewing over who was to blame — capped by Trump’s remarkable decision late Monday to fire the acting attorney general because she refused to enforce the order as potentially unlawful. For all the promises of Republican bonhomie, Trump and his aides kept GOP congressional leaders almost completely in the dark about the most consequential act of his young presidency: a temporary ban on refugees and on anyone from seven majority-Muslim nations.”

       -    Washington Post, 1/30/2017