Farmington, N.M. — On Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a public hearing at San Juan College in Farmington, providing community members the opportunity to offer their support for the methane standards proposed earlier this year. Those speaking in favor of the proposed rules outnumbered those in opposition by more than 2 to 1.
The recently proposed standards will reduce methane waste from oil and gas operations on public lands, complementing the safeguards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015.
In response, a coalition of community and environmental groups released the following statements:
“No family should have to worry about the air their children breathe. Children are among those most vulnerable to the health hazards caused by methane pollution. Setting sensible protections that reduce this pollution will be a step toward addressing pollutants that form smog, which can trigger asthma attacks and other serious health problems like cancer. We have a moral obligation to protect our children’s generation from the carbon pollution putting their health at risk.”
— Chelsey Evans, Moms Clean Air Force
“We support the BLM methane rule for several reasons: 1. It will increase revenue. 2. It will be an investment in healthcare. 3. It will make the air healthier here.
This rule is long overdue. Currently, leaks are causing all this methane to go to waste. Methane hot spots need to be addressed. We are thankful that BLM has acknowledged that this rule is necessary. We need clean air to breathe!
— Elouise Brown, Dooda Desert Rock
“Studies show New Mexicans are losing out on millions of dollars in revenue every year because of methane leaks and venting and flaring on public lands alone. These safeguards are an affordable, common-sense step to improve our communities’ economy, health and climate.”
— Camilla Feibelman, Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club
“It’s great to see the federal government take steps to address existing sources of this dangerous climate pollutant. By reducing methane pollution from oil and gas development, this rule will help clean up our Western skies, safeguard our climate, protect our communities, and plug the leakage, each year, of almost $130 million of wasted natural gas in Colorado and New Mexico.”
— Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, executive director of the Western Environmental Law Center
“Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund encourages the Bureau of Land Management to create strong rules to cut methane waste in New Mexico. The proposed rules are a critical step forward to ensure that our state’s energy sector has the best technologies and solutions in place to minimize potential impacts to New Mexico’s families. We must ensure that the use of methane and other fossil fuels is reduced and escaping methane is captured to prevent waste, and to protect public health.”
— Demis Foster, executive director, Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund
Image of methane flaring from Public News Service