Multi-Association Letter to Congress Supporting CRA Resolution Disapproving BLM Venting and Flaring Rule

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 5:30pm

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:

As business leaders representing diverse geographic regions and economic interests, we write to encourage your support for expedited passage of a joint Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to eliminate the Bureau of Land Management’s “venting and flaring” regulation.

As you know, President Clinton signed the CRA in 1996, providing Congress a mechanism to overturn contentious rules promulgated in the waning days of an outgoing Administration. Finalized by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on November 18, 2016—ten days after Election Day—the highly controversial “venting and flaring” rule is precisely the type of midnight regulation that the CRA was designed to prevent.

Venting and flaring gasses from oil and natural gas wells is vital to manage pressure and maintain safety. While energy companies have every fiscal incentive to minimize venting and flaring, they sometimes must do so due to a lack of sufficient infrastructure to transport natural gas to market. This is especially true for wells in newly productive areas on federal lands. Nonetheless, through technological innovation, industry has successfully and voluntarily reduced methane emissions, even as natural gas production has grown significantly.

Unfortunately, under the guise of reducing methane emissions and increasing government royalties, BLM’s 11th hour regulatory action imposes costly and prescriptive requirements on oil and natural gas production that will make energy development uneconomical in many areas. Rather than strengthen environmental practices, this command-and-control regulatory approach from Washington bureaucrats will simply chase energy developers away, ironically reducing royalty revenues in the process. Adding to this irony is the fact that BLM itself has forced increased flaring and venting, due to bureaucratic delays in approving pipeline permits needed to reduce flaring and transport energy resources to market.

Ultimately, this regulation handcuffs the energy revolution, makes us more dependent on foreign sources of energy, and translates to higher costs for families and businesses. Accordingly, we urge you to support expedited consideration and passage of this important resolution to eliminate the Obama Administration’s lame-duck finalization of BLM’s “venting and flaring” regulation.

Thank you for helping to unleash American energy resources in support of U.S. jobs and the economy.

Sincerely,

Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce
Central Chamber of Commerce
Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry
Colorado Business Roundtable
Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce
Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce
Greater West Plains Area Chamber of Commerce
Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce
Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Davis Chamber of Commerce
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Longview Chamber of Commerce
Lubbock Chamber of Commerce
Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry
New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry
Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce
Schaumburg Business Association
Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce
Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Texas Association of Business
Tulsa Regional Chamber
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber