Senate Rejects Attempt to Roll Back Methane Rules

John McCain helped stop roll back methane rules' width=Environmentalists breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday this week when three Republican Senators – John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins — crossed the aisle this week to help Senate Democrats block an attempt to roll back new limits on methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal lands enacted in November by the outgoing Obama administration. Senate Republicans were trying to get the change in as the window was closing on the 60-day Congressional Review period where Congress can overturn rules within 60 days of their adoption. “After approving a series of measures undoing federal health and environmental protections, a majority of the Republican-controlled Senate at last has come to its collective senses,” says Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an influential environmental non-profit. “This failed attempt to advance the interests of big polluters bodes well for when other harmful proposals surface in the coming months, such as the so-called Regulatory Accountability Act, which would stop the government from issuing any future health, consumer or environmental safety protections for Americans.” Congressional Republicans have used the Congressional Review period to successfully overturn 13 other rules put in place during the last days of the Obama administration. The deadline for invoking the Congressional Review Act is on Thursday this week, so the rejection of the methane rule rollback may be the last time we hear about it for a while. And while the first 100 days of the Trump administration have not been an easy time for environmentalists, they’ll take whatever victories they can get.