I wrote earlier today about Senator Heidi Heitkamp making a surprise vote against repealing an Obama-era methane rule implemented through the Bureau of Land Management.
The rule, if you haven’t been following long, is duplicative and of dubious provenance. The EPA already regulates methane emissions (as does the State of North Dakota, for that matter), and that federal agency, unlike the BLM, actually has authority emissions.
Heitkamp is defending her vote by suggesting that the BLM rule would “not get in the way” of work already being done by the state to address methane emissions:
Today I voted against overturning the BLM methane rule because of my concern with wasting resources & royalties. Read my full statement. pic.twitter.com/KdXTKwAdau
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) May 10, 2017
Heitkamp appears to be the only statewide elected official in North Dakota who feels this rule wouldn’t be an obstacle to a) energy development and b) state-level implementation of regulations which are already working.
Congressman Kevin Cramer, meanwhile, said on my radio show today that the Senate vote was a “poke in the eye of North Dakota.
“Not only is it duplicative,” Cramer told me, “but North Dakota already has the most restrictive emissions rule in the country.”
It was a “really wrong headed” vote, Cramer added.
I also talked with Cramer about the firing of now-former FBI Director James Comey. “It’s appropriate to can him,” he told me.
“President Obama would have been within his rights to fire him last year,” Cramer added, referring to Comey’s handling of an investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal.
But if that’s the case, I asked Cramer, why didn’t Trump fire Comey in inauguration day?
“I think he should have,” Cramer said.
Here’s the audio: