Map of western US that shows methane emissions

On February 15, 2016, the Sierra Club submitted comments related to the BLM’s proposed Methane Rule. The Methane Rule will clamp down on the loss of natural gas from roughly 100,000 wells on federal and tribal lands.

The Sierra Club applauds Secretary Jewell on this action!

Excerpts of our comments:

The 2,500 members of the Northern New Mexico Group of Sierra Club commend the Bureau of Land Management for the recently proposed Methane Rule. We appreciate the opportunity to comment in support of this long needed revision.

For 30 years under the current rule, methane has been leaked, emitted and flared into the air of northern New Mexico counties to the extent that our region has the largest methane concentration in the United States.


The oil and gas industry has avoided the direct pollution costs of unconventional gas and oil extraction for decades.

A fundamental loss of human health and economic viability has been the price of extreme fuel extraction methods and lack of sufficient government regulation.

The rise of infant mortality, birth defects, respiratory failure, cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer and stunted neurological development are air pollution impacts that money often cannot cure. The loss of mortgages, bank loans, insurance and the ability to sell and move are financial impacts that the private residents pay for the oil company’s “right” to do business nearby on public lands.

The Methane Rule will not correct all these issues, but it is a recognizable start. We appreciate the BLM’s approach to the problem and strongly support the Methane Rule.

Learn more:

Full text of the Sierra Club comment – BLM Methane Rule Comments
BLM proposed rules – Federal Register, February 8, 2016
BLM Methane Rule facts sheet

Image of methane hotspots from WildEarth Guardians.

Comments submitted – BLM Methane Rule