BISMARCK – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the Senate Budget Committee, wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today expressing his opposition to Democrats’ proposed $4 trillion spending package and the energy policies contained in it.

“I write to you to express my opposition to your pursuit of passing another massive spending package filled with partisan wish-list items and higher taxes on the American people,” wrote Senator Cramer. “As our colleague Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, ‘Instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation.’ I agree.”

The letter focuses on the negative impact of a fee on methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities, a plan based on Democratic legislation known as the Methane Emissions Reduction Act of 2021. This proposal would assess an escalating $1,800 per-ton fee on businesses based on their share of activity in a particular geologic basin versus the company’s actual emissions. Groups including American Petroleum Institute and the North Dakota Petroleum Council, the American Gas Association, the Interstate National Gas Association, and the Gas & Oil Association of West Virginia have recently voiced their opposition as well.

“One of the most concerning aspects of your proposal is its attack on U.S. energy, [and] I am particularly concerned with the proposed fee on methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities,” wrote Senator Cramer. “Given the magnitude of the fee, natural gas utilities will likely seek cost recovery from rate regulators which then results in increased costs for consumers at every income level.”

In the letter, Senator Cramer outlined how such a penalty is unnecessarily punitive and would lead to companies making fewer investments in lowering carbon emissions. The senator notes the economic harm it would cause energy producing states and contrasts the proposal with the bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate recently passed which streamlined the permitting process for projects that reduce methane emissions.

“If passed, these measures will lead to job loss and reduce funding for schools, parks, and other programs directly and indirectly funded by industry royalties and taxes. Most ironically, these proposals would increase global emissions by making us dependent on dirtier foreign sources of energy,” concluded Senator Cramer. “I urge you to resist the insatiable demands from the environmental left and do what is right for all Americans by opposing a new fee on methane emissions from oil and natural gas facilities.”