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In a Win for the Wayne National Forest, the U.S. Senate Voted to Protect Public Lands

David Miller, May 10, 2017

Today, the U.S. Senate protected public lands by voting against using the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Interior Department’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Heather Taylor-Miesle, Executive Director of the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):

“For months, thousands of Ohioans have worked to stand up for clean air and against unnecessary pollution on public lands. We applaud these successful statewide efforts. While Senator Sherrod Brown voted to protect public lands across Ohio, Senator Rob Portman did not vote in the best interests of Ohioans, opting instead to support the narrow interests of the oil and gas industry.

In recent months, thousands of Americans asked the Senate to stand up for clean air and against the oil and gas lobby, and their efforts were successful today. The OEC hosted a tele-town hall in which nearly 5,000 Ohioans joined to voice concerns about eliminating this rule, and encourage Senator Portman to vote against repealing the measure.

The rule, which was finalized in November and went into effect in January, was created by the Department’s Bureau of Land Management to cut the waste of natural gas owned by the American people through both accidental leaks and intentional venting and flaring. More than $330 million in natural gas is wasted each year on public lands across the United States.

This is not the only important energy reform that must be protected from special interest influence. The OEC will continue to fight to ensure that when energy development occurs on public lands it is done responsibly and safely, in the right places, and with plenty of public involvement. We must pursue a balanced approach on our public lands while providing cleaner energy moving forward.”