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More than 40 years after becoming law, the Endangered Species Act has become almost unworkable for state and local officials in the West and needs to be reformed, former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal (D) told a U.S. Senate hearing today. “Over time, the mix of regulations, court decisions, policy guidance and individual agency actions by Presidential administrations of different but still well intentioned views have created a nearly unworkable system,” Freudenthal said in written testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
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.
Officials in North Dakota are racing against time to move hundreds of cars and trucks from the site of an anti-pipeline protest before seasonal flooding sweeps the vehicles into the Missouri River. “There are roughly 200 vehicles down there at last count, ranging from cars and pickups to rental trucks,” George Kuntz, vice president of the North Dakota Towing Association, told Western Wire. At least one vehicle has already been found in the water, potentially leaking engine oil and gasoline, according to local law enforcement.
With the Senate expected this week to take up measures that would revoke late-term Obama administration regulations, North Dakota’s leading business group has joined Western lawmakers in urging the repeal of a rule targeting oil and natural gas development on federal lands.
With the Senate potentially voting this week on a measure that will overturn a rule targeting oil and natural gas development on federal lands, Washington, D.C., media have reported that some key Western lawmakers remain on the fence. But follow-up inquiries by Western Wire tell a different story: There is strong support in the West for repealing the Obama administration’s last-minute “venting and flaring” rule.
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a buzzy term that has been making the rounds in the political press lately. Western Wire checked in with Beltway experts on why the CRA is being used in Congress now, how the process works and whether it really can repeal late-term Obama administration regulations.
Senators from the West introduced legislation today that would shield states from redundant regulations on hydraulic fracturing from federal agencies. The Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (S.316), sponsored by senators in Utah and Wyoming, recognizes that all states with significant oil and gas development already have adequate regulations in place for hydraulic fracturing.