The federal Bureau of Land Management’s Methane and Waste Reduction Rule requires companies extracting natural gas on tribal and public lands under its jurisdiction to capture natural gas that is wasted through leaks, venting and flaring. Methane is the major component of natural gas. Bureau land is public land that belongs to all of us, the taxpayers of America.
According to the BLM, $392 million worth of natural gas was vented and flared from federal and tribal leases in 2013, worth $49 million in federal royalties. In 2014, the wasted gas was worth $444 million with royalty values of $56 million. The point is, the problem of lost gas on bureau lands is getting worse, not better.
These natural gas resources under the jurisdiction of BLM are owned by the American taxpayer. So when the natural gas is wasted, the U.S. government loses tens of millions of dollars in royalty revenue. About half of those royalty dollars go to the federal treasury, and the other half go to states with energy development on these lands.
Why in the world would the U.S. Senate want to needlessly waste a finite and irreplaceable natural resource that is key to the energy needs of our country and throw away royalty dollars that could help reduce our national debt or fund important state projects? That is what the Senate would do by voting for Senate Joint Resolution 11 to repeal the BLM natural gas conservation rule.
S.J.Res. 11 is a poor piece of legislation and we should tell our senators to oppose it.
Read the Full Story by former director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Frances Seiberling Buchholzer: Will the Senate conserve natural gas?