ACTION ALERT: Tell Secretary Zinke Montanans deserve better!

In 2016, the Bureau of Land Management finalized protections that limit the wasteful venting, flaring, and leaking of methane and other taxes gases from oil and gas operations.

Now, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is proposing to “revise” those protections by eliminating their most important parts. Worse still, he’s attempting to revise them without a single public hearing!

Five years of work, nine public hearings, and more than 300,000 total comments went into developing the BLM’s original Methane and Waste Prevention Rule.

Use the talking points below to let Secretary Zinke know Montanans oppose the rollback of these critical air quality protections. We demand better for taxpayers, oilfield communities, and our health!

Comments will be accepted until April 23, 2018.


Natural gas is a valuable resource that belongs to ALL taxpayers. When oil and gas companies don’t capture natural gas responsibly, the resource is wasted, cheating the American taxpayers out of an important revenue source.

  • Re-instate/include Waste minimization plans: Zinke’s proposed rule doesn’t require companies to submit waste minimization plans with their Application for Permit to Drill. Waste Minimization Plans detail how companies plan to capture natural gases, urging companies to think about reducing waste before they start drilling.
  • Re-instate gas capture requirements: This rule also eliminates the requirement for operators to reduce the amount of natural gas wasted through flaring over time. The rule also rescinds the requirement that companies pay royalties on the gas they waste when they flare over established limits.


Natural gas is often found along with associated volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Inhaling VOCs is hazardous to our health and respiratory systems. Natural gas is most dangerous in its raw form!

  • Drilling and well completion: The new rule eliminates requirements that ensure natural gas is managed and wells are completed in ways that best protect air quality.
  • Equipment requirements for pneumatic controllers: The new rule removes requirements that “high bleed” pneumatic controllers and pumps be replaced by “low or no bleed” controllers and pumps to cut back on the amount of natural gas released directly into the air.


The main component of natural gas–methane–is incredibly potent. Methane is 84 times more potent in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

  • Leak detection and repair: The new rule rescinds requirements that require monitoring and detection of leaks. Detected leaks would no longer have to be repaired within 30 days!
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