US House passes CRA resolution to revoke BLM land-use planning changes

The US House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution on Feb. 7 that expressed disapproval of the US Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 regulations changing its land use planning procedures by 234 to 186 votes. Four Democrats voted with Republicans in support of the measure, and four Republicans voted with Democrats against it.

The US House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution on Feb. 7 that expressed disapproval of the US Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 regulations changing its land use planning procedures by 234 to 186 votes. Four Democrats voted with Republicans in support of the measure, and four Republicans voted with Democrats against it.

H.J. Res 44 was the second CRA resolution involving BLM to win the House’s approval in the 115th Congress. It approved H.J. Res 36 days earlier to rescind the US Department of the Interior agency’s methane emissions limits for oil and gas activity on public and Indian tribal land by 221 to 191 votes (OGJ Online, Feb. 3, 2017).

“The action taken today in the House effectively reverses the Obama Administration’s misguided and failed attempt to undermine the rights of state and local governments to manage resources and land use inside their own districts,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, who introduced H.J. Res 44 on Jan. 30, following the Feb. 7 vote.

BLM proposed the rule aimed at improving its resource management process nearly a year earlier as part of DOI’s 2.0 planning initiative. The American Petroleum Institute and Independent Petroleum Association of America jointly warned a few months later that the proposed changes could increase uncertainty instead. BLM made the rule final on Dec. 1.

“In Wyoming, we know that citizens in our local communities and our elected officials are the best stewards of our land and resources. Repeal of BLM 2.0 will help restore authority where it belongs—to our states and local communities," Cheney said.

The White House also expressed its support for the disapproval resolution and three others on Feb. 7. “Given its regional approach to planning, the administration believes the rule does not adequately serve the state and local communities’ interests and could potentially dilute their input in planning decisions,” it said in a statement. The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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