Commentary: The Proposed Methane Fee Is an All-Downside Proposal

Person filling up red car with petrol/gasoline

The Methane Emissions Reduction Act of 2021 has been proposed as a “pay-for” – a source of revenue – in the reconciliation infrastructure package. It would impose a “fee” on methane emissions from natural gas and petroleum production systems and related processes, but not on such emissions from agricultural and other operations. Accordingly, it is worse than a mere money grab: it’s a blatant exercise in punitive politics directed at the fossil-fuel energy sector, a tax on conventional energy.

Not so, says Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), as summarized by the Washington Examiner:

“This is not a tax. It’s a fee on natural gas waste,” adding oil and gas operators have the technologies to combat methane leaks at low cost. “The smart players want to prevent waste because they can capitalize it to make money. Customers won’t be paying a fee on gas delivered. The only fee will be paid [by an operator] on what doesn’t make it to the consumer.”

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Announces Plan for 30 New Drug Courts to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine unveiled the latest aspect of his plan Tuesday to fight opioid addiction by creating more specialty courts statewide. The plan is the latest announced component of his upcoming budget proposal for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.  If approved, it would allocate $2.5 million in 2020 for the creation of “15 specialty…

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