Last week, the U.S. Senate failed to repeal a rule established by the Department of Interior under the Obama administration aimed at reducing methane gas emissions. The rule was designed to prevent nearly 180,000 tons of methane gas from entering the atmosphere each year.
Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, when released into the atmosphere, traps heat at 25 times the rate of carbon dioxide. Nearly a third of the nation’s methane emissions result from gas and oil drilling.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the rule earlier this year and the Senate was expected to follow suit. Surprisingly, however, Republican Senators Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain joined Senate Democrats and voted to defeat the legislation by a margin of 61-49.