March 28, 2017

March 27, 2017

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Resolution Repealing BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule Sent to President; Vote on Rescinding Methane Rule Put on Hold

Legislative Activity

Resolution Repealing BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule Sent to the President

Last week, the Senate passed H. J. Res 44, using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), to rescind the Bureau of Land Management’s Resource Management Planning rule, known as the BLM Planning 2.0 Rule, by a vote of 51-48. The House passed the resolution on February 7 by a vote of 234-186. The rule, which was finalized by the Obama Administration in December 2016, aims to increase public involvement and incorporate the most current data and technology in order to streamline the agency’s land use planning process. Critics of the rule claimed it prioritized regional and national concerns over state and local interests in land use planning for activities on public lands. The resolution is expected to be signed into law by the President in the coming days.

Vote on Rescinding BLM Methane Rule Put on Hold

Senate Republicans are having less luck securing enough votes to pass another CRA resolution, H. J. Res. 36, which would rescind the Bureau of Land Management’s Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation rule. The joint resolution was passed by the House on February 3 by a vote of 221-191. The rule, which was also finalized under the Obama Administration, intends to reduce waste of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas production activities on onshore federal and Indian leases.

The resolution was originally anticipated to pass the Senate mid-February, but has since received opposition from some Republican Senators over concerns that a CRA path for repealing this rule will prevent BLM from enacting a rule that is “substantially the same” in the future. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) have both spoken in opposition of taking a CRA path to rescinding the rule, while Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Rob Portman (R-OH) reportedly remain undecided on how they will vote.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • On Wednesday, March 15, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans, will hold a hearing titled “Examining the Creation and Management of Marine Monuments and Sanctuaries.”

  • On Wednesday, March 15, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy, will hold a hearing titled “Modernizing Energy Infrastructure: Challenges and Opportunities to Expanding Hydropower Generation.”

  • On Wednesday, March 15, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing titled “Examining Innovative Solutions to Control Invasive Species and Promote Wildlife Conservation.”

  • On Thursday, March 16, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Federal Lands, will hold a hearing titled “Identifying Innovative Infrastructure Ideas for the National Park Service and Forest Service.”

  • On Thursday, March 16, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on opportunities to improve American energy infrastructure.

  • On Thursday, March 16, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment, will hold a hearing titled “Reinvestment and Rehabilitation of Our Nation’s Safe Drinking Water Delivery Systems.”

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About this Author

Sarah Vilms, Public Policy Adviser, Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm
Public Policy Advisor

Sarah Vilms provides legislative strategy and congressional advocacy on behalf of clients, including corporations, municipal governments and nonprofits. Her experience includes more than 20 years in environment and natural resources, education, health care, transportation, voting and sporting issues, among other areas. Ms. Vilms presents matters on behalf of clients before Congress, the White House and federal agencies. 

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Mallory A. Richardson, Public Policy Specialist, Squire Patton Boggs, Law Firm
Public Policy Specialist

Mallory Richardson is a member of the firm’s Transportation, Infrastructure & Local Government and Public Policy Practices. Prior to becoming a public policy specialist, Mallory was selected through a competitive process to participate in the firm’s public policy internship program. In this position, Mallory assisted attorneys and senior policy professionals on legislative and regulatory research, hearing and event coverage, and produced reports focusing on issues including energy, transportation, education and local municipalities. In addition, she proactively worked with the firm’s Energy and Natural Resources Public Policy Practice on strategy development and implementation, and engaged with Executive and Legislative Branch officials through meetings, hearings and events.

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