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PNS Daily Newscast - October 19, 2017 


Attorney General Sessions tight-lipped before the Senate Judiciary Committee; a new report says birth control access is critical for both health and economic security; and expect a personal touch to finances as today marks Credit Union Day.

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NV Senators Urged to Keep BLM Methane Waste Rule In Place

Flaring excess natural gas from oil facilities on federal or tribal land is controversial because it results in lower royalties for taxpayers. (Caitlyn Cromwell)
Flaring excess natural gas from oil facilities on federal or tribal land is controversial because it results in lower royalties for taxpayers. (Caitlyn Cromwell)
May 3, 2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Leading voices on national security are asking Nevada U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Dean Heller to oppose a plan to repeal an Obama-era rule that forces oil and gas companies to install equipment to minimize the waste of taxpayer-owned natural gas into the atmosphere.

The U.S. House has already voted to scrap the rule, and the Senate is expected to hold its repeal vote very soon. In the meantime, retired Army Major General Paul Eaton and a group of retired generals from the Vet Voice Foundation recently sent a letter to all U.S. Senators, asking them to keep the Bureau of Land Management's Methane Waste Rule.

"We cannot afford to allow oil and gas companies to continue to vent, to flare, to leak methane gas at the expense of taxpayers and our secure and stable energy markets," said Eaton in a tele-town hall.

By some estimates, methane gas worth $300 million a year is simply wasted, denying states and tribes the royalties that would come if the gas were brought to market – funds that Eaton noted could be used on national priorities like education and infrastructure.

In addition, natural gas pollution is linked to asthma and other diseases. But opponents of the BLM rule have argued that it imposes unreasonable costs on industry.

Eaton sees methane waste as a national security risk, as well. He said the U.S. is more likely to need to put troops in harm's way to defend the nation's oil supply, if we fail to take full advantage of domestic sources of natural gas.

"How can we ask our soldiers to put their lives on the line - especially in the energy-producing countries in the Middle East - if every day we allow oil and gas companies at home to waste, by just blowing this stuff into the atmosphere?" he asked.

Sen. Cortez Masto has announced her intention to vote against the repeal and support the rule. Sen. Heller has not taken a position on the issue.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV