“We need to balance thoughtful regulation with a growing economy. We can have both.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the 14 Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions of disapproval passed by Congress that rolled back harmful Obama administration regulations.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Over the past few months, Congress has passed 14 different resolutions that are going to save the American people money and it’s going to make it a lot easier for our economy to grow.
“Fourteen times since February, we struck down unnecessary, burdensome, and costly regulations.
“These were called ‘midnight regulations’ because they came at the end of the Obama administration.
“Half of these 14 regulations were actually put in place after the November presidential election.
“President Obama said time and time again during the campaign that his agenda was on the ballot.
“The American people rejected that agenda – and the president dumped these new rules on the American people as a parting shot.
“We wiped 14 of these regulations—wiped them off of the books.
“In one resolution, we rolled back an important part of President Obama’s war on coal. That was the so-called stream buffer rule.
“It was designed to shut down a lot of the surface coal mining in this country.
“It would have destroyed up to a third of coal mining jobs in America.
“So we passed a resolution that protected coal mining jobs and protected American energy independence.
“There was another resolution we passed that restores the role of local land managers in deciding how best to use federal land.
“Before the Obama administration, the local experts were the ones who would help decide how federal land can be used in so many areas around the country.
“These are the people on the ground. They’re the ones who know best what works there. They’re the ones with the best sense of how to balance all the different ways that land can be used.
“That could be things like recreation, energy production, and grazing.
“Well, the Obama administration said it wasn’t interested in hearing from the local experts anymore.
“It decided to put the decisions, all of those decisions, in the hands of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington D.C.
“So Congress passed a resolution that says these are decisions that affect local communities – and those communities should have the say—and a significant amount of say—in how the decisions get made.
“When we look at these 14 resolutions all together, they will save Americans over 4 billion dollars and more than 4 million hours of paperwork. Because not only are the regulations expensive, they are burdensome and time consuming.
“I can tell you this is just the beginning. These resolutions are just one tool that we have to strike down bad regulations.
“There is much more that Congress can do, and will do– and there is much more that the Trump administration can do.
“The administration has already made it clear that the bureaucrats in Washington are not in charge anymore.
“I plan to make sure that the Trump administration keeps up the pace and tosses some of these worst rules and regulations and rules into the garbage where they belong.
“A good place to start would be for Ryan Zinke – the secretary of the interior – to throw out another rule that makes it more difficult to produce American energy.
“This regulation supposedly tries to reduce how much methane gets lost in oil and gas production.
“There’s always some unprocessed natural gas that gets released at gas and oil wells.
“Energy producers try to gather up this gas and then ship it to a processing plant – where of course it can be sold, it can be used by customers. Taxes are paid on that, they go to state and local governments, as well as money that’s raised for the sales for the companies themselves.
“To do that, the producers need small pipelines—they need these small pipelines that collect the unprocessed gas from the wells, to get it to the processing plant.
“Here’s the problem, we don’t have enough of these gathering lines.
“Without the gathering lines, the only option is for that gas to get burned, that extra natural gas will escape into the air.
“What do the bureaucrats in Washington say? They could have addressed the real reason this gas is being lost.
“The fact is that they haven’t allowed enough of these gathering lines on federal land.
“Instead, they decided to write a regulation that makes it tougher for us to produce American energy here in America. But the Obama administration has blocked the permits to build the gathering lines.
“This methane rule is a terrible regulation. It’s redundant, it is unnecessary, I believe it is illegal – and it needs to go.
“Secretary Zinke should wipe the slate clean and get rid of this outrageous rule immediately.
“He should also order the bureaucrats who work for him to start approving more of these gas gathering lines. That’s what we really need.
“We need to make energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can, and do it in ways that do not raise energy costs for American families.
“We need to balance thoughtful regulation with a growing economy. We can have both.
“The Obama administration absolutely failed to strike the right balance.
“The Trump administration and Congress have a lot more we can do to make sure we get the balance right.”