Poll: Nevadans Want to Keep Methane Waste Rule
CARSON CITY, Nev. – A new poll shows 79 percent of Nevadans support limiting methane waste from oil and gas facilities.
The survey conducted by Colorado College comes as the U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on whether to eliminate the Bureau of Land Management's Methane Waste Rule. The rule requires oil and gas companies to install methane capture equipment to cull excess gas, which then can be brought to market instead of polluting the atmosphere.
David Jenkins, president of the advocacy group Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, says the idea of saving taxpayers money has bipartisan appeal.
"These assets that the BLM manages, of natural gas, if it's flared and not responsibly collected, you know, we don't get royalties on that," he explained. "So taxpayer assets are just being wasted and put up into the air."
A second poll, by Adrian Gray Consulting, shows that nationally almost 70 percent of both Democratic and Republican voters support keeping the Methane Waste Rule. Yet the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal it on February third - with only three Democrats on board and minus 11 Republicans who support the rule.
Jenkins says the way opponents of the Methane Waste Rule are going about the repeal is particularly harmful because it would require another act of Congress to reinstate the rule.
"If Congress succeeds at rolling back a regulation using the Congressional Review Act, that agency can never promulgate a similar type regulation," he said.
Jenkins says the oil and gas industry is spending millions to influence legislators to vote to repeal the rule. Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto has said she supports the methane waste rule while Republican Senator Dean Heller has not publicly announced his position.