On Wednesday, three GOP senators joined forces with Senate Democrats to reject the repeal of an Obama-era ruling that was set in place to limit methane emissions from drilling for oil and natural gas, The Washington Post reports.
Senate poised to repeal a final Obama-era environmental rule as soon as Wednesday https://t.co/Ds8vJ73D77
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 10, 2017
In a 51-49 vote, the Senate voted against repealing a rule set in place by the Obama administration to regulate methane emissions from drilling on public property.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) were the three Republicans who joined all 48 Senate Democrats to reject the resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate, and the resolution required 51 votes to pass. The loss likely comes as a shock to Senate Republicans, given the fact that it simply needed a basic majority vote in order to pass. Had one of the aforementioned senators not been opposed to the ruling, it would have passed.
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a 1996 law that gives lawmakers the authority to overturn any regulation put in place during the final six months of the previous presidential administration, with a majority vote in each chamber of Congress.
The rule was originally issued by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management in November, and was set in place to combat a greenhouse gas emission known to accelerate climate change. Environmentalists believe that the rule is necessary when it comes to reducing methane emissions — a greenhouse gas with nearly 25 times the adverse impact on the environment as carbon dioxide. According to The Post, the Obama administration estimated that the rule would prevent close to 180,000 tons of methane from leaking per year.
According to The Hill, the oil industry supports the Congressional Review Board’s resolution, as they believe it would do away with a regulation that could potentially hinder the progress of producers who are already working to reduce methane emissions on their own.
According to reports, President Trump has signed 12 Congressional Review Board resolutions in an effort to do away with resolutions set in place by the Obama administration, prior to his departure from the Oval Office.
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