Re: Barrasso’s resolution
Sen. John Barrasso has introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution that would abolish the Bureau of Land Management’s methane waste prevention rule. This is an irresponsible squandering of public resources and is wrong for numerous reasons.
First, federal royalties are used to fund education and infrastructure projects. However, the BLM does not charge royalties for wasted natural gas. This means that more than $330 million worth of natural gas is wasted each year from development on public lands. In Wyoming, this amount adds up to $42 million. All we need to do is look at the recent debates over public school funding in the Legislature to see the importance of not wasting potential revenue sources.
Second, in addition to allowing the waste of our natural resources the Congressional Review Act prevents any substantially similar rule from being issued. Once again this makes no sense. The technology currently exists to reduce methane leaks and is already being utilized in the Upper Green River Basin. Sen, Barrasso’s Congressional Review Act resolution will hamper efforts to address any potential changes in circumstances and it would prevent us from requiring waste reduction measures that could be realized upon further improvements to technologies.
Lastly, natural gas leaks release toxic and smog forming pollutants. Reducing these leaks will help prevent asthma attacks and other smog-induced respiratory problems. Infants, children, and older adults are especially susceptible to air pollution. Adults who are active outdoors are also at risk from elevated levels of air pollution.
This is of considerable concern given the fact that many Wyomingites are avid sportsmen and women. The health of Wyoming citizens should always be a priority.
So often we hear Wyoming’s elected officials say we should run government more like a business. What type of business would allow this kind of unnecessary waste to occur? A vote for wasteful emissions is a vote against Wyoming taxpayers — the owners of our public lands.