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Port: Why is Sen. Heitkamp protecting Obama’s last-minute methane emission rule?

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp speaks Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School in in Fargo, N.D. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

On his way out the door earlier this year former President Barack Obama committed an act of regulatory vandalism. He instituted a last minute rule through the Bureau of Land Management targeting methane emissions from oil and gas development.

It’s a rule, like so many of the Obama administration’s actions, aimed less at protecting the environment than hamstringing the industry.

Right now Congress is working on unwinding the rule through the Congressional Review Act. The House has already passed a resolution to undo the rule, but things are stalled in the Senate.

North Dakota Senator John Hoeven supports repealing the rule saying it is “duplicative, unworkable and will hamper job creation and economic growth in North Dakota.”

Congressman Kevin Cramer voted in the House to repeal what he has described as a “God-awful rule” which is “aimed right at North Dakota.”

The Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, home to a not insignificant portion of North Dakota’s oil development, has sent representatives to Washington D.C. to lobby for the rule’s repeal.

The North Dakota Chamber of Commerce wants the rule repealed.

Governor Doug Burgum is opposed to it.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has filed suit on behalf of the state over the rule.

Yet Senator Heidi Heitkamp continues to sit on the fence on the issue.

I think it’s fair to wonder why, at this point. What constituency is she serving by her refusal to take a position?

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