A Western Wire guest column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal explores the involvement of California billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer in Nevada politics. With Steyer’s help, Democrats won back control of the Nevada Legislature last November after two years of a Republican majority. But four years ago, the last time Democrats controlled the legislature, the debate over energy policy went very differently.
Liberals who oppose repealing the midnight regulations of the last president have a big problem. Liberals actually love that idea – or at least they used to. Go back eight years and you will find liberals cheerleading the use of the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that can strike down new regulations imposed during the final months of a president’s term in office. Today, it’s a very different story. But former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who co-authored the CRA, insists the law is “fair” and helps prevent regulations that are “too burdensome” and “too costly.”
The Congressional Review Act disapproval motion, passed by the U.S. House and now before the Senate, will save thousands of jobs that are supported by America’s domestic energy industry, including independent energy producers — the small, family-run businesses that are most heavily impacted by the BLM’s venting and flaring rule. Repealing the rule will also save vital streams of revenue for federal, state, and local governments that are used to support schools, infrastructure and other important services.
Environmental groups are being confused by their own misinformation and grossly exaggerating the benefits of the Bureau of Land Management’s venting and flaring rule. We urge the Senate not to be deceived by misinformation.
Despite their recent opposition to the concept, liberals used to love the idea of a new president and Congress wiping out the last-minute regulations of the old president. In fact, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Bill Clinton, Harry Reid and many others on the left thought the Congressional Review Act was a good idea.
The United States District Court for the District of Wyoming denied a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) rule to control venting and flaring of methane from oil and natural gas production.
Which side of the Democratic Party will show up when a newly formed committee on energy and environmental policy convenes in the Republican-run state Senate?