State advances rules to limit methane emissions from oil and gas industry
Efforts by the Departments of Environment and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources to control emissions of methane and harmful chemicals that contribute to ground-level ozone pollution in New Mexico have advanced to a new stage with the close of a public comment period on the draft rules on September 16.
Currently, intentional venting and flaring of natural gas and leaks from pipelines and equipment result in nearly one third of New Mexico’s greenhouse gas emissions. The two agencies proposed rules that, taken together, are designed to ensure that 98% of the natural gas produced from oil and gas wells in the state is captured by 2026. However, many environmental and public health organizations, including 350 Santa Fe, are concerned that loopholes and exceptions in the rules, as drafted, may undermine this important goal and lead to inequitable distribution of benefits from pollution reduction. After considering comments, the agencies are expected to issue revised rules this fall and provide additional opportunities for public input before they are finalized.
Our 350 Santa Fe comments on methane rules were submitted on September 16 with approximately 11 members of our Legislative Action Team, signing on.