Methane Rule Repeal Hits Snag in Senate Over Ethanol

Bloomberg – A top oil industry priority on Capitol Hill may fall victim to an unrelated dispute over ethanol.

At stake is an Interior Department rule forcing energy companies to curb emissions of methane escaping from wells and pipelines on public land. Senate Republican leaders say they are close to getting the 51 votes they need to overturn that Obama-era regulation using expedited repeal procedures under the Congressional Review Act.

But now, with a deadline about a week away, that campaign is on the verge of capsizing. 

Four Midwest Republicans, including Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and John Thune of South Dakota, told Senate leaders the price for their votes for the methane measure is a change in ethanol policy, according to people familiar with the talks who spoke anonymously about the negotiations. The lawmakers demanded the measure -- which would free up use of higher blends of ethanol -- be included in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill set to advance this week. Spokesmen for Grassley and Thune did not return emailed requests for comment.

Read more at Bloomberg.

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