Join national, state, and local groups and hundreds of New Mexicans to call on the Lujan Grisham Administration to strengthen draft rules proposed by her administration to clean up methane waste and the dangerous pollution from oil and gas extraction.
I support Governor Lujan Grisham’s commitment to nationally-leading methane and associated oil and gas air pollution rules that slash our state’s climate pollution and make our air healthier.
Methane is a powerful climate pollutant, 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a critical near-term time frame. Oil and gas producers leak, vent, and flare so much methane that the wasted methane – the primary ingredient in natural gas – could heat every home in New Mexico every single year. And the volatile organic compounds, or “VOCs,” that leak alongside methane at oil and gas facilities cause smog that exacerbates asthma and other respiratory diseases that many New Mexicans suffer from.
Significant exemptions in the draft New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) rules would reduce the rules’ effectiveness to protect public health and our climate. These proposed exemptions would leave 60-70% of harmful methane and VOC pollution unaddressed. Governor Lujan Grisham and state agencies must address these issues. Reducing methane waste and pollution is critical for New Mexico right now as we’re facing a confluence of crises in our economy, public health, and climate. New Mexicans lose more than $40 million each year in royalties that oil and gas operators are not required to pay for oil or gas produced on federal or state lands when they vent, flare, or leak methane rather than sell it. These are royalties that our schools and critical services like hospitals require, especially now.
I urge Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to close the loopholes and finalize requirements that will fulfill her goal of establishing nationally leading rules New Mexicans deserve.