Statement from the Rev. Mitch Hescox
President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network
“On behalf of the 3 million pro-life Christians who have joined forces with the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), I would like to thank Senators McCain (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Collins (R-ME), Heitkamp (D-ND), and Manchin (D-WV) for voting the right way to defend the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) recent regulation of natural gas infrastructure on federal lands. This BLM rule reduces pollution from leaks and intentional venting and flaring. Such pollution includes methane (a potent greenhouse gas), smog precursors, and other toxic pollutants like benzene, a cancer-causing agent. Studies have shown that smog and air toxics have a disproportionate impact upon life in the womb.
The Senate was voting on a type of legislation called a “CRA,” which invalidates rules via the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA is the most extreme approach available, and was intended to be used only rarely. It not only invalidates a rule, it prevents anything similar from being promulgated in the future.
If just one of these Senators would have voted the wrong way we would have lost, given the vote was 49-51. As such, this BLM-Methane CRA vote took courage to do the right thing and defend the unborn, children, and other vulnerable groups from this pollution.
Again, we are grateful to Senators Heitkamp, Manchin, Collins, Graham, and McCain for standing tall and defending the unborn and others with their BLM-Methane CRA vote. Although we won this particular fight, we assume the battle to defend the BLM Methane Rule is not over. Our opponents will seek out other ways to weaken or invalidate this regulation. And so we must continue to stand tall for our nation’s efforts to reduce this harmful pollution.”