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Hickenlooper leads Senate reversal of Trump methane regs rollback

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April 28, 2021, 3:45 pm

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted 52-42, including three Republicans, to reverse a Trump administration rollback of regulations seeking to limit methane emissions in the oil and gas industry — one of the most potent forms of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming.

Here’s a press release from Colorado U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper:

Today U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper and a bipartisan majority of Senators voted to reverse the Trump Administration’s rollback of methane pollution limits from oil and gas drilling. The vote reinstates Obama-era limits on methane pollution, which were modeled after the “gold standard” that Hickenlooper pioneered as Governor of Colorado.

Gov. John Hickenlooper
Sen. Hickenlooper

The Senate reversed the Trump Administration rule using the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to undo certain regulations enacted at the end of a previous presidential administration. Hickenlooper presided over the Senate for the vote.

“In Colorado, we brought together environmentalists and the oil industry to take the first steps toward eliminating methane. Our work became the national standard,” said Hickenlooper. “Despite the Trump administration’s rollback, we’re reinstating those limits with bipartisan support. Today’s vote is a win for clean air and a model for what we can accomplish together if we commit to tackling the climate crisis.”

Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, roughly 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. A new U.N. report found that reducing methane emissions is key to stemming the effects of climate change and protecting public health. 

Hickenlooper is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

And here’s a release from Conservation Colorado:

Today, in a bipartisan 52-42 vote, the U.S. Senate invoked the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and took a critical step toward restoring commonsense methane safeguards for oil and gas development. The vote moves the US closer to reversing a 2020 move by the Trump Administration to remove methane from federal air quality rules. This is an important step toward the EPA adopting stricter methane regulations that will protect Colorado from the air quality and climate impacts of potent greenhouse gasses.

Conservation Colorado’s deputy director Jessica Goad released the following statement in response to today’s vote:“The Senate took action to combat climate change today by invoking the Congressional Review Act on methane regulations. Colorado led the nation with methane regulations thanks to actions taken by then Governor Hickenlooper’s administration, and Senator Bennet has been a champion for this issue in the Senate. We applaud Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper for their leadership and call on our federal delegation to continue pursuing bold action on climate; Colordans overwhelmingly support it.” 

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