Maite Arce, President and CEO of the Hispanic Access Foundation, released the following statement in response to yesterday’s announcement the Bureau of Land Management will suspend parts of the rule designed to reduce natural gas waste on federal public and tribal lands:
“As a Latino—and a taxpayer, it is deeply disappointing to see the BLM suspend the methane and natural gas waste rule. The BLM rule was designed to ensure that lost revenue would be put to work in our neighborhoods in the form of improved infrastructure or funding for schools. With BLM’s decision to suspend this rule they have turned their backs on taxpayers and Latino communities across the West.
“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 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.”
The BLM’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule was adopted during the Obama Administration to curb 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.