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May 10, 2017 10:42 AM UTC

Senate Defeats Attempt To Scuttle Obama Methane Rule

  • by: Colorado Pols
Sen. Cory Gardner.

A big surprise out of Washington, D.C. this morning–and we mean that in a good way for a change–as the Washington Post reports:

The U.S. Senate narrowly voted down a resolution on Wednesday to repeal an Obama-era rule regulating methane emissions from drilling on public lands — with three Republicans joining every Democrat to preserve the rule.

The 51 to 49 vote marked the first time since Trump’s election that Republicans have failed in their attempt to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn Obama-era rules.

Thirteen earlier resolutions, based on the 1996 law that allows Congress to overturn rules within 60 days of their adoption, all succeeded…

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) unexpectedly voted no against a motion to proceed with consideration of the resolution, along with GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.). Two Democrats who had considered backing the rule’s elimination — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — voted against the motion as well.

In a floor speech after the vote, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), said “the very first victory” lawmakers have had in beating back a Congressional Review Act bill this year came from a combination of Democratic unity and a few Republicans’ willingness to buck their leadership. “Thank you so much for coming forward and seeing the common sense nature of this issue,” Udall said, referring to Collins, Graham and McCain.

Conservation Colorado celebrates in a statement today–and slams Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado for his vote to repeal the federal Methane Rule:

This is an incredible day for the environment and for citizens across the country who have been telling their members of Congress to vote for clean air. The vote should have been an easy one for the oil and gas lobby to win, but the power of citizen activism has broken through the political morass.

With that said, we are deeply disappointed in Senator Gardner’s vote. Despite more than 10,000 emails and calls from Coloradans and multiple protests at his offices on this issue, Senator Gardner managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by voting against Colorado’s clean air in what amounted to a futile vote for him. [Pols emphasis]

It’s obvious from this vote that Senator Gardner is much more interested in joining the Washington, D.C. political club rather than representing the values of Coloradans. This is not the leadership that Colorado needs, and we will double down on our efforts to make sure that Coloradans of all stripes know what a threat Senator Gardner’s voting record poses to clean air and environment.

Colorado already has rules requiring that methane be captured instead of wasted–beneficial both to air quality and our bottom line since royalties are paid on the energy that isn’t wasted here. Even though we have this protection already, air pollution doesn’t respect state boundaries. The federal Methane Rule the Trump administration wanted overturned via the controversial Congressional Review Act is based on Colorado’s rule.

All told, this is a huge win against the Trump administration’s campaign to roll back President Barack Obama’s legacy. Sen. Gardner, who pays so much lip service to being a conservation-minded “different kind of Republican,” had a golden opportunity today to join other Republican Senators in doing the right thing, show independence from Trump, and uphold the values on this issue of the state he represents.

And he didn’t.


24 thoughts on “Senate Defeats Attempt To Scuttle Obama Methane Rule

    1. Me as well. It highlights the shameless "Con" in "Con Man Cory."

      That said, looking at it, I can't help but notice who Con Man would look a great deal like if one were to insert a small, square black moustache right under his nose…

        1. C.H.B. – are you still confident he'll support retaining the methane rule? He's in the inenviable (yet voluntary) position of panning for dollars for Senate races in the next election cycle from the oppressed billionaire-class.  I'm guessing that, like Coffman in the lower chamber on the health care bill, we'll witness his vote to retain only if they don't absolutely need his 'yea' to repeal?  

          If only those pesky, radical environmentalists weren't sabotaging  all those great American jobs. <sigh>

        2. Given that the vote was 51 against, though, the final vote would likely have been the same. Not much need for debate on the CRA vote for this, and not likely that anyone would have changed their mind after "debate".

          1. Michael: at this point in time, doesn't really matter how Gardner might have voted on the actual resolution itself. Thanks to Republican Senators McCain, Graham, Collins, that additional vote won't happen. 

            There is a continuing problem in that Trump targeted a number of energy related regs from the Obama era with his energy E.O. We'll have to see how that shakes out.

            1. I wouldn't go so far to say it doesn't matter. It does matter to  a majority of Coloradans just what he really believes in and would fight for.  I recognize the very small diameter of the rope he's traversing and through that political lens he's doing an artful job of not being forced to take any positions. 

            2. C.H.B. – I'm posting this from the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Building where Sen Tom Udall just received the EDF 'Common Sense' Award. Tom was an early supporter of '"25x'25" in the early days (2005). McCain even showed up, heaping praise on Sen Udall and sharing the heat he took from the party for his vote today. What people want is political courage. As McCain said, our atmosphere isn't "Republican oxygen and Democrat oxygen".  For Keerist sake – could his caucus grow a pair?  There are a lot of Republicans in this room – and Cory's vote hasn't been missed on the crowd. 

              1. Gardner did publicly call Trump a "buffoon" during the campaign, which he's been trying to live down since Trump unexpectedly got elected. As for the caucus "growing a (collective) pair," probably not while Ditch O'Donnell is majority leader. But let's see where the Russia investigation goes. 

                Tom Udall; and his New Mexico comrade, Martin Heinrich, are real solid on public lands issues. Unlike their R buddies, Hatch and Lee, in Utah. Have you seen Hatch's condescending statements about Utah Native Americans?

    2. Why? Gardner supports renewable energy and reliable energy for when renewables don't cut it. You have to have power when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.

      1. …neither of your examples have anything to do with the subject at hand. Unlike your petulant rants accompanied by methane, the technology exists to solve that problem in the gas patch. 

      2. Michael, you're talking to a guy that probably got wood over that house blowing up due to unchecked pipelines.  He won't listen to reason.


        And I want my ACA article Moldy.

      3. Moldy, as long as the Trump Crime family, err, "administration" is in power, there will be plenty of hot air to run our windmills.


  1. “The oil and natural gas industry has done more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than any other, including wind and solar,” Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Alliance, said in a statement.

    What kind of person do you have to be to publicly make such a bigly ridiculous and demonstrably wrong statement?

    From Tucker Carlson wants Trump to Throw Tantrum

    1. You have to be a bought and paid for shill with no great affinity for the truth. Ms. Sgamma comes from a long line of mendacious mouthpieces.

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