News Coverage

08 February 2017

MEDIUM: A Pastor’s Letter to Senate: Save BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule

Category: News Coverage

The Bureau of Land Management’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule represents some of the best values of conservatism and is smart energy, public health and economic policy. In response to the recent House vote on this rule, I write this letter:

Dear Members of the 115th U.S. Senate,

My name is Juan Almanza and I am the Pastor at Centro de Adoracion Familiar in Las Vegas Nevada and a member of the Por La Creación Faith Based Alliance. PLC is a network of Latino faith leaders dedicated to protecting God’s creation and developing the next generation of public land and natural resource stewards.

As a resident of the state of Nevada where 67% of our land base is under Bureau of Land Management and over 2 million acres of public lands are leased for oil and gas development, conservative management policy is critical to the success of our economy and way of life, and for this reason I support the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule and ask you to vote NO on abolishing this rule. The rule embodies our values — it conserves our natural resources, promotes stewardship, generates royalties at the federal, state, tribal government levels, and reduces harmful air pollution.

According to the Congressional Republican Platform the values of conservatism are Conservation, Faith, Family, and Responsible Economics. Conservation tells us that our public lands and natural resources belong to all Americans. Faith tells us it is our moral obligation as people to be good stewards of the God-given natural beauty and resources of our country now and for generations to come. Family tells us that we should do all in our power to make sure we keep our loved ones safe. Responsible economics tells us that we should not be wasteful with finite resources.

As the elected officials representing the thousands of Americans you must remember the values that we share and make decisions that have the best for all Americans in mind and not just a few. You must understand the unnecessary burdens you place on us, your constituents and future generations, if you vote in favor of a joint resolution of disapproval of the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule under the Congressional Review Act.

You may ask, What are these burdens?

Public health is at risk when we allow oil and gas producers to vent, flare, and leak natural gas into the air. Releasing harmful emissions like methane and other gases into the atmosphere, diminishes air quality leading to more respiratory health issues like asthma in our kids.
Natural resources on public lands are owned by all Americans and the wasteful management of these resources result in losses for taxpayers. Taxpayers lose federal, state and tribal royalty revenues amounting to about $23 million annually. These funds could be use to improve our schools and infrastructure.
If this rule is disapproved by the Congressional Review Act, then it undermines the ability of the BLM to regulate the waste of natural gas on public lands in the future. The CRA (5 U.S. Code § 801) states that no new rule “may not be reissued in substantially the same form, and a new rule that is substantially the same as such a rule may not be issued, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the joint resolution disapproving the original rule”.

And let us not forget the benefits that we forgo if you pass a joint resolution of disapproval under the CRA.

By lowering natural gas waste during oil and gas production we are taking advantage of our domestic energy resources fully — aiding the goal of an energy independent America. This rule saves and puts into productive use natural gas that can be used to supply energy to up to 740,000 homes a year.
The BLM estimates that the rule’s net benefits could range from $46 to $204 million per year. Benefits include revenues for operators from sale of recovered natural gas and environmental benefits of reducing methane emissions and other air pollutants.
We are setting an great example of what it means to be a good stewards of God’s creation for future generations. As President Reagan once said, “This is our patrimony. This is what we leave our children. And our great moral responsibility is to leave it to them either as we found it or better than we found it.”

I ask as a fellow American that you consider these implications before you place your vote on this matter. I ask that you consider the values of conservatism in your decision. I ask that you look to and reflect the actions of Ronald Reagan who stated,

“I believe in a sound, strong environmental policy that protects the health of our people and a wise stewardship of our nation’s natural resources”

and again vote not on abolishing the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule.

If you agree that the BLM Methane Rule should not be abolished, take action and sign our petition. Tell Congress to do the right thing: .

By Pastor Juan Almanza, Las Vegas, NV

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