The American people scored a big victory as the Senate defeated an attempt to roll back the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Waste Rule on May 10th. The victory was a real consequence of a majority of the United States Senate taking the side of the American people over the desires of the oil and gas lobby and other special interests.
But it could not have happened without leadership from some dedicated members of Congress and their fierce determination to stand up to polluters. Foremost among those leaders were Senators Udall and Heinrich and Representatives Lujan and Lujan Grisham.
Even as the Methane Waste Rule was repealed in the House of Representatives, New Mexico Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham stood tall and made it clear they supported New Mexican taxpayers and not the oil and gas lobby. These members were not cowed by the oil and gas industry, which has a strong presence in New Mexico. They knew that the voice of their constituents needed to be followed.
And a very hearty thank you from New Mexicans and the American people goes to Senator Tom Udall and Senator Martin Heinrich. Since the previous administration started putting these protections in place, these Senators have voiced clear support for capturing methane waste and stopping pollution and waste from oil and gas development on federal and tribal lands.
The real fight on this issue started when Senator Udall stood up to the president of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, in a committee hearing to let him know that the American people would not stand by as special interests worked to gut protections designed to capture waste. That video, from February, 2 showed the fight that Senator Udall put forward through May and made sure that the oil and gas industry knew what they were up against.
Senator Heinrich, as a respected member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee knows the issue inside and out and has consistently supported responsible development of our natural resources on public lands. On this vote he stood up for his constituents, who want clean air and need the revenue that comes from capturing, instead of wasting, natural gas.
You can see the convictions in their actions in their speeches after the winning the fight. They proved that standing up for what is right can lead to success, and they are a model for how Senators can fight for a cleaner environment and revenue for their constituents.
Watch the video here: