Thank you for contacting me about recent votes using the Congressional Review Act. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.

The House of Representatives at the beginning of February voted to disapprove a rule submitted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) relating to waste prevention and a rule submitted by the Department of Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule.

I understand and appreciate the concern for our environment and strive to be good stewards of our planet. These last-minute regulations promulgated by the outgoing administration, while well-intentioned, failed to take into account the processes involved in energy extraction. It is important when crafting regulations to allow for sufficient input and also recognize the role of state and local regulators in the process and in terms of enforcement. Even with the disapproval of these rules, there will still be laws on the books to protect our environment. Simultaneously, those involved in energy extraction continue to mitigate their impacts, reduce waste, and improve safety, which is why methane emissions fell by 13% between 2011 and 2014 despite a sharp increase in production. Venting and flaring from wells can be vital to manage pressure and safety and is also dependent on the approval of sufficient construction of new infrastructure to transport energy resources by governing authorities.

It is important we have sensible regulations that respect our federal system and are enforceable on multiple levels including state and local to ensure consistent compliance. This is not a simple or easy balancing act, but I believe working together we can reach more consensuses, just as we did in the 114th Congress with the passage of such as the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Modernization Act, which I supported, or additional resources for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which I also supported along with many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I am also hopeful the development and adoption of new technologies will continue to ensure more progress and, as part of that effort, have been a proud supporter of the Research & Development Tax Credit.

I would like to assure you I will keep your thoughts in mind as we continue to work on related issues in consultation with authorities and experts at the federal level to the local oversight by our soil & water conservation boards.

Thank you again for contacting me. It is a privilege to serve you in the Tenth District. I may also be contacted at my Sterling office at 703-404-6903, or my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-5136. By visiting, you can sign up to receive my email newsletters and follow my efforts to serve you. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates on my activities in Congress and in the District. If I may ever be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Barbara Comstock
Member of Congress