In filing an amicus brief recently, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Chairman Raúl Grijalva, alongside 50 other members of Congress, are defending strong federal methane standards to prevent the waste of natural resources on public and tribal lands.

Each year, oil and gas companies emit over 13 million metric tons of methane across the country.

The Bureau of Land Management's own analysis found that repealing the rule would lead to more waste, less production and less revenue to taxpayers. This includes more than $1 billion dollars in wasted natural gas and pollution costs, as well as tens of millions of dollars in lost royalty revenue.

Efforts to roll back the BLM rule addressing methane waste and pollution from the oil and gas industry have been met with overwhelming public opposition, in addition to repeated opposition from the courts. The administration’s attacks on common sense methane safeguards directly undermines taxpayers' and communities’ well-being by denying us revenues that would help fund critical infrastructure projects and provide much-needed funding for school programs.

Furthermore, this pollution of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is putting our climate at risk and threatening the health of our families.

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People like my friends and family on Fort Berthold are already feeling the negative health effects of air pollution from oil and gas operations. It is unconscionable that the Trump administration is seeking to eliminate protections that would limit this dangerous pollution and waste. That’s why Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights has taken the Trump Administration to court to challenge this dangerous rollback.

This challenge is a bold step forward and an important part of ensuring that places like Fort Berthold receive the protections they deserve from harmful oil and gas pollution and waste.