“The Earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in
it.” Psalm 24:1
As Christians, we are called to be stewards of all creation and not
waste the gifts God has given. With strong support from the Christian community,
the Department of
Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized the Methane and Natural
Gas Rule (Methane Rule) in November 2016. This rule reduces methane waste in
the atmosphere by requiring that oil and gas operators control methane
emissions. We are also called to share the gifts of creation with each other
and with future generations. This rule helps our nation to steward these
resources in the manner they were intended. It helps to protect creation from
climate change harm and it decreases the waste of God’s gift.
The Methane Rule
was finalized after extensive consultation with stakeholders, but now Congress
is utilizing the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal it. The CRA allows
Congress to overturn recently passed rules. This tool is not a good means of
governing in most circumstances, and it would be particularly ill advised to
use it here.
Methane is a
greenhouse gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide, thereby having a greater effect on climate change in the near term. Methane
in the atmosphere leads to significant public health consequences. Additionally,
when this rule was released, the
DOI said it would “help ensure a fair return for taxpayers, who receive
royalties from the sale of oil and gas extracted on federal land, while also
helping combat the release of a harmful climate-warming greenhouse gas.” DOI
estimated the rule would cut methane emissions by 35 percent. Similar rules
were implemented in Colorado in 2014 with great success, particularly from a
health and an economic perspective.
In order to repeal
the rule, CRA action is required in both the House and the Senate, and then the
President must give approval. Here is where we are now: The House has already voted
to repeal the rule and the Senate is likely to hold its vote within the next
week. The Senate must be urged to vote no on the BLM Methane CRA Resolution.
This rule safeguards human health and protects God’s
creation. It reduces waste of a precious gift of God.
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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