Re: Congressional Review Act
By now, most Wyomingites are well aware of the numerous bills coming out of Cheyenne designed to dramatically cut funding from our public schools. Our state is dealing with extremely difficult financial times. That is why I cannot understand why Sen. John Barrasso would be using the Congressional Review Act to block rules designed to limit natural gas waste. The rule Sen. Barrasso wants to do away with cuts natural gas waste on federal public lands, puts our energy resources to good and productive use, protects air quality and will return substantial royalties to our state’s coffers.
When natural gas is wasted by development which occurs on public lands, that potential revenue source is lost forever. The BLM does not charge royalties for wasted natural gas. In Wyoming, federal royalties are used to help fund public education. If Wyoming continues to be dependent on the energy sector for revenue, then it is especially troubling to be wasting this valuable resource when the technology already exists to address the venting, flaring and leaking of natural gas. This technology is currently in use, successfully, in the Upper Green River Basin of our state.
Furthermore, by using the Congressional Review Act to allow waste to occur during these financially difficult times, Sen. Barrasso would prevent any similar rule from being issued and thus allow waste to continue well into the future. By getting rid of the BLM rule on natural gas waste on federal lands, Sen. Barrasso will ensure that millions of dollars of taxpayer-owned resources will be wasted.
Perhaps Sen. Barrasso is out of touch with the fiscal predicament we are facing in the state. We only need to look at our public schools funding crisis to know where those wasted resources are desperately needed.
Carl R. Carmichael