For Immediate Release:
Thursday, April 25th, 2016
New Mexico Elected Officials Call For Reduction of Methane Pollution
68 Mayors and County Commissioners Sign Letter in Support of EPA Rules
Today, Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales joined 68 mayors and county commissioners, 7 from New Mexico, to send a letter to President Barack Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Gina McCarthy urging them to take action on dangerous methane pollution from new and existing oil and gas industry sources. This group of leaders from 13 different states and the District of Columbia has united to protect their constituents from methane pollution’s devastating impact on public health and the accelerated effects of climate change.
Mayor Gonzales said, “For our children’s health, for our economy, and for our environment, it is important that we all work to ensure that we are venting less methane into New Mexico’s air. That’s why I support the EPA’s proposed rule.”
Alex Naranjo, Chairman of Rio Arriba Board of County Commission added, “It’s incumbent upon us, as responsible stewards of our land and natural resources, to insist on efficient baseline standards for oil & gas production that are consistent with currently available technologies and best management practices. I believe the new EPA & BLM rules move us in the right direction.”
In the letter Mayor Gonzales joined his colleagues from around the country in writing, “One in three Americans live in a county with oil and gas development, and as the leaders of America’s cities and counties, we write today to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to reduce methane emissions from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector. We also urge the agency to swiftly move forward with a rule to rein in emissions from existing sources of oil and gas methane pollution. Doing so will protect our constituents from unhealthy air pollution associated with the methane and toxic chemicals emitted from oil and gas infrastructure and equipment, and protect us from the consequences of climate change that our cities and counties face on a daily basis.”
The mayors highlighted the efficacy of state level collaboration, specifically in Colorado, as proof that curbing methane pollution from oil and gas development can happen without harming state economies.
The mayors summed up their support for action from the EPA on dangerous methane pollution by noting that “strong standards are needed to keep our air clean and our constituents healthy.”
A copy of the mayors’ letter and more information about the dangers of methane pollution on our environment and our communities can be found at www.methanefacts.com.
Local New Mexico elected officials have also signed a letter in support of BLM methane rules which complements EPA methane rules. This letter can be seen at: https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=BLM-2016-0001-0069
New Mexico State Officials Listed in the EPA Letter
Mayor Javier M. Gonzales, Santa Fe, NM
County Commissioner Alex M. Naranjo, Chair, Rio Arriba County, NM
County Commissioner Kathleen Holian, Santa Fe County, NM
County Commissioner Miguel Chavez Santa Fe County, NM
County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, Bernalillo County, NM
County Commissioner Billy G. Garrett, Doña Ana County, NM
City Commissioner Katee McClure, Aztec, NM