Some Republican senators are registering their opposition to repealing a rule that cuts down on methane, a greenhouse gas, The Hill reports.
Under the Congressional Review Act that ends regulations created by former President Barack Obama's administration, the methane legislation gained the lowest amount of support for cancellation, 221-191, and it has not been up for a vote although Senate leaders and the oil and gas industry support it, according to the Hill.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said he believed the rule could be subject to improvement, not just cancellation. "I think we can replace it with a better reg, rather than a CRA," the South Carolina Republican said, referring to the CRA.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins said she had not yet made up her mind. "I am leaning against it based on what I've heard so far," she said.
The drilling industry said that the rule duplicates some state rules, and it threatens jobs.
"I think this has become somewhat of a debate — a policy debate issue among environmental activists. That's why we're weighing in, as we see the economic and job benefits" of canceling the rule, Robert Dillon, vice president of the pro-fossil fuel American Council for Capital Formation, said.
More pipeline infrastructure, instead of a federal rule, will fix the methane problem, according to the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Local officials from western states urged senators to keep the rule, saying it "will put our energy resources to good use and will clean up our air," the Hill reported.
Republicans who favor the rule's removal said Democrats would benefit if the rule were removed. "There's no rational reason not to vote for it," Utah Rep. Rob Bishop said. "You've got some Democrats who would be dramatically enhanced if they support it," Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe said.
Cristina Arnold, regional vice president of the New Mexico Business Coalition, urged for the rule to be repealed in an opinion piece Monday in the Albuquerque Journal.
"At a time when New Mexico has the worst unemployment rate in the nation, not repealing the (Bureau of Land Management) rule would be detrimental to our children's welfare." Oil and natural gas production is the biggest funding source for public school funding in the state, she wrote.
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