The oil rig was a visual representation of the oil drilling that is happening now in wilderness-quality public lands all over America, and the threat that oil drilling represents to lands like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The agency had suspended the 2016 rule, meant to cut the waste of natural gas on public lands created by venting, flaring and accidental leaks, in January 2017 following the orders of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
However, the battle over regulating methane is not over.
In what is shaping up to be one of the largest public lands sell-offs in American history, the Trump administration is preparing to potentially open all 23 million acres of Alaska’s Western Arctic to oil drilling.
President Trump has made it clear that his administration values fossil fuel development above our lands and climate, and the latest victim could be the pristine night skies, rushing rivers and incredible prehistoric treasures around Dinosaur National Monument.
Under an extreme and rarely-used law—the Congressional Review Act—Congress now enters the final days to act on nixing the Bureau of Land Management Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, also known as the BLM methane rule.