Industry, environmental groups and government officials are squaring off over new U.S. Bureau of Land Management rules that require oil and gas operators to limit methane emissions caused by the leaking, venting and flaring of natural gas. House Republicans have voted to repeal the rule, approved last November under former President Barack Obama, through an expedited review process that allows Congress to overturn such regulations with a simple majority vote. Similar action now appears imminent in the U.S. Senate.
The fight over BLM’s rule is snowballing amid a hyper-charged political atmosphere that has industry and environmental groups preparing for more battles in coming months over regulations governing the energy industry.
Business groups believe they’ve gained a solid upper hand on energy issues for the first time since Obama took office in 2009.