Maite Arce, President and CEO of the Hispanic Access Foundation, released the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate vote outcome that maintains the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, which curbs natural gas waste by requiring existing oil and gas operations on public lands to use the most up-to-date technology to capture wasted natural gas that is either released into the atmosphere or burned off and repair leaks from equipment:
“We have a moral obligation to protect our cherished outdoor heritage, clean up our air, and ensure that our communities and children are protected from human-caused public health issues that we can knowingly prevent. Today, the U.S. Senate put communities before the specials interests of oil and gas companies.
“The rule, which was developed with the input from tens of thousands of Americans around the country and received tremendous public support evidenced by numerous polls, will save hundreds of millions of taxpayer-owned natural gas each year. More importantly, the BLM rule will help fight the release of harmful pollutants into the air, which has a greater impact on Latino communities as they face elevated risks due to toxic emissions, according to a report by the National Hispanic Medical Association and Clean Air Task Force.
“We’re especially thankful for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-NC) for putting politics aside and doing what was right for the people they represent. We also appreciate the continued leadership of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and others in the effort to ensure that our cherished outdoor heritage is intact for future generations.”
In total, 51 Senators voted to keep the BLM rule intact, while 49 voted to revoke it.