Senate to Reinstate Obama-Era Controls on Climate-Warming Methane

In Environment On
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WASHINGTON — The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to effectively reinstate an Obama-era regulation that sought to clamp down on the release of methane, a powerful, climate-warming pollutant that will have to be controlled to meet President Biden’s ambitious climate change promises.

Taking a page from congressional Republicans who in 2017 made liberal use of a once-obscure law to roll back Obama-era regulations, Democrats will invoke the law to turn back a Trump methane rule enacted late last summer. That rule had eliminated Obama-era controls on leaks of methane, which seeps from oil and gas wells.

The vote will be the first time congressional Democrats have used the law, called the Congressional Review Act, which prohibits Senate filibusters and ensures one administration’s last-minute regulations can be swiftly overturned with a simple majority vote in both chambers of Congress.

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