Democrats have turned to an obscure procedural software in an try and undo the Trump administration’s rollback of an Obama-era regulation on methane, a potent greenhouse gasoline launched by oil and gasoline operations.
In a letter Thursday to colleagues detailing upcoming agenda priorities, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) famous that Democrats plan to vote on a Congressional Review Act decision to reinstate the Obama administration’s methane waste guidelines.
“Methane standards are one of the most important ways to address an important source of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute significantly to climate change, and the Trump administration’s weakening of those standards was a dagger in the heart of efforts to address the climate crisis,” Schumer stated in a press release. “This CRA is just one of many initiatives the Senate Democratic Majority will undertake to address the climate crisis.”
The Congressional Review Act is a 1996 legislation that offers Congress the ability to nullify any main regulation finalized inside the last 60 legislative days of a president’s time period. All that’s required is an easy majority vote. In 2017, Republican lawmakers invoked it to scrap greater than a dozen Obama-era rules.
Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Angus King (I-Maine) and others launched a joint decision Thursday to overturn President Donald Trump’s 2020 rollback, and a companion decision is slated to be launched within the House on Friday.
The transfer is “critical to confronting the climate crisis and reducing harmful air pollution,” Heinrich tweeted.
The Obama administration’s methane rule sought to rein in methane air pollution from fossil gasoline operations by requiring operators to observe and forestall leaks from wells, pipelines and different amenities. The Trump administration rescinded the regulation in August, arguing, amongst different issues, that it unfairly burdened small producers, as HuffPost reported on the time.
Methane is among the many most potent greenhouse gases, roughly 30 instances simpler at trapping warmth than carbon dioxide over a century within the environment. It accounts for about one-fifth of human-caused planetary warming, and concentrations have risen greater than 150% since 1750.
President Joe Biden introduced up the problem of rogue methane emissions throughout a proper press convention Thursday, his first as president.
“We have over 100,000 wellheads that are not capped, leaking methane,” Biden stated. “What are we doing? And by the way, we can put as many pipe fitters and miners to work capping those wells at the same price that they would charge to dig those wells.”
Trump’s methane rollback is considered one of a number of eleventh-hour guidelines that Democrats might goal utilizing the CRA. In December, the EPA opted to maintain reasonably than strengthen air high quality requirements for particulate matter and ozone, two poisonous air pollution emitted from energy vegetation and autos. It additionally finalized a rule requiring the company to provide higher consideration to financial elements when crafting new public well being safeguards below the Clean Air Act.
But the clock is ticking. Congress has till subsequent week to introduce CRA resolutions to undo late Trump-era rules, in accordance Public Citizen’s estimated deadlines.
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