Jun 25, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Congress votes to restore regulation of methane emissions
The House voted Friday to reverse a Trump-era rule that thwarted the Environmental Protection Agency's power to directly regulate methane emissions from the oil-and-gas sector, sending the measure to President Biden's desk for a signature.
Why it matters: Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas, and wells, gas compressors and other industry equipment are a significant source.
Driving the news: The 229-191 House vote — with 12 Republicans joining Democrats — follows Senate approval in April of the resolution under the Congressional Review Act.
- It's the mid-1990s law — part of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" — that allows filibuster-proof resolutions to overturn recently completed federal regulations.
What's next: The resolution will restore Obama-era policies, but the Biden administration is also eyeing new mandates.
- The White House said after the Senate acted that the measure will "clear the pathway for EPA to evaluate opportunities to promulgate even stronger standards."
- While most Republicans voted against the resolution Friday, the oil industry has moved toward supporting methane regulation.