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Measure to overturn methane emissions rule defeated in narrow vote

This undated handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan, shows the Four...
This undated handout image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan, shows the Four Corners area, in red, left, the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this digital map, showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009. (KJCT)
Published: May. 10, 2017 at 10:43 AM MDT
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The Senate has blocked an effort to overturn an Obama-era regulation restricting harmful methane emissions that escape from oil and gas wells on federal land.

The measure failed on a vote of 51-to-49 in the Republican-led chamber.

Republican leaders were seeking to overturn the Interior Department rule under the Congressional Review Act.

President Barack Obama finalized a rule in November that would force energy companies to capture methane that's burned off or "flared" at drilling sites because it earns less money than oil.

Democrats and environmental groups say the rule protects the public health and generates millions in revenue for state, local and tribal governments.

Republicans and industry groups call the rule an example of federal overreach under Obama and say it duplicates state rules in place throughout the West.

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