There’s an old and unfortunate truth about Washington, D.C.: “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu.” For the past eight years, the Obama administration’s “keep-it-in-the-ground” policies have kept the oil and gas industry “on the menu” and stymied responsible energy development and threatened to make energy more expensive for families all across the West.
Environmental activist groups are pulling out all the stops to save the Obama administration’s last-minute “venting and flaring” rule, which targets oil and natural gas development on federal lands. Unfortunately for them, however, that means shining a spotlight on their real agenda and who pays for it. And it turns out groups arguing in favor of the methane rule, claiming it will increase natural gas production and tax revenues, have close ties to anti-oil and gas organizations and the “keep it in the ground” campaign.
For years, anti-oil and natural gas groups like 350.org, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club urged President Barack Obama to “keep it in the ground.” Well, it turns out the former president actually did a pretty good job for these groups. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently released its data for fiscal year 2016, the last full year of the Obama administration. When you compare those numbers to the data from 2008, the year before President Obama took office, the contrast is compelling.
After a disastrous 2016 election, environmental activists are now trying to salvage as many Obama administration regulations as they can, including a series of last-minute actions targeting federal lands in western states. And to create the appearance of support for their agenda, the activists are pitching one of the directors of a Colorado environmental group as an impartial former regulator.
A Western Wire guest column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal explores the involvement of California billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer in Nevada politics. With Steyer’s help, Democrats won back control of the Nevada Legislature last November after two years of a Republican majority. But four years ago, the last time Democrats controlled the legislature, the debate over energy policy went very differently.
Liberals who oppose repealing the midnight regulations of the last president have a big problem. Liberals actually love that idea – or at least they used to. Go back eight years and you will find liberals cheerleading the use of the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that can strike down new regulations imposed during the final months of a president’s term in office. Today, it’s a very different story. But former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who co-authored the CRA, insists the law is “fair” and helps prevent regulations that are “too burdensome” and “too costly.”
The Congressional Review Act disapproval motion, passed by the U.S. House and now before the Senate, will save thousands of jobs that are supported by America’s domestic energy industry, including independent energy producers — the small, family-run businesses that are most heavily impacted by the BLM’s venting and flaring rule. Repealing the rule will also save vital streams of revenue for federal, state, and local governments that are used to support schools, infrastructure and other important services.