“It is difficult to think of another situation in which geopolitical, economic, environmental, and human health interests so effortlessly harmonize as they do in the case of methane waste,” said Melissa Hornbein, senior attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center. “The Bureau of Land Management has a unique opportunity with this rule to simultaneously promote U.S. energy independence, protect taxpayer-owned resources, address the climate crisis, and protect human health. To do so, however, the Bureau must look beyond royalties and reinforce the agency’s clear authority–as outlined in the rule–to take specific and affirmative steps to eliminate the waste of gas caused by venting and flaring. We are encouraged by the preliminary additional safeguards articulated by the rule but those provisions must clearly articulate the Bureau’s duty, in addition to its authority, to tackle waste from venting and flaring.”

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