Critical Opportunity for Public Comment on State Methane Regulations
What: The New Mexico Environment Department and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department are hosting an online meeting to gather public input about methane regulations and community impacts.
When: Thursday, March 19th from 2PM – 6PM
Details and registration: http://methanemattersnm.org/rsvp/
As we all deal with the uncertainty of this difficult time for our health and economy, it is more important than ever that New Mexico stays the course on critical public health initiatives to protect our children, our air and our climate.
For the past year, the state has been preparing to enact state regulations to reduce methane waste and pollution, and Governor Lujan Grisham needs to hear from you about the urgent need for nationally-leading rules this year. Please plan to participate in Thursday’s web-based methane meeting and let your voice be heard.
- New Mexico has a methane waste and pollution problem – it’s costing our schools millions in revenue, ruining our air and harming our climate for future generations. Unlike other top producing oil and gas states, New Mexico has no requirements prohibiting methane waste and associated pollution from escaping. That constitutes an immediate health threat to all New Mexicans, and it needs to change this year.
- New Mexico can’t afford methane waste. Each year, oil and gas companies waste $275 million-worth of natural gas through venting, flaring and leaks which costs the state over $40 million in royalty and tax revenue that could fund public education and other critical services.
- Methane also is a powerful climate change pollutant responsible for 25 percent of the warming we experience today, and oil and gas operations release ozone-forming pollutants that worsen respiratory diseases such as emphysema and asthma. If action isn’t taken increasing oil and gas production will lead to even higher pollution levels.
- The recent drop in oil prices underscores the importance of state action to reduce methane waste and pollution. he downturn means New Mexico’s school funding and other key budget priorities are vulnerable, and methane waste costs the state valuable tax and royalty revenue.
- We applaud Governor Lujan Grisham for seeking public input on the state’s plan to create regulations to reduce methane waste and pollution from the oil and gas industry, and we urge everyone to let your voice be heard about the need for nationally leading rules that protect our community, our health and our children.
Webcast Details for Community Impacts Meeting on March 19
Due to the state’s ban on mass public gatherings in response to COVID-19, the New Mexico Departments of Environment (NMED) and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources (EMNRD) are transitioning the scheduled Community Impacts Meeting in Farmington on March 19 to a webcast format. While our departments recognize that hosting community meetings in person is ideal, state government is taking essential steps to limit the spread of the virus.
Registration is required to join the meeting, register here. For the open house portion, participants have the option of joining four virtual rooms where they will be able to ask questions and interact directly with presenters. Details on how to join this portion are available here:
- Cultural impacts
- Health impacts
- Economic impacts
- Speak with state government representatives from NMED and EMNRD
The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
- 2 – 3:30 pm: Introduction, update and background presentation from NMED and EMNRD, and expert presentations on health, cultural, and economic impacts of oil and gas activity
- 3:30 – 4:15 pm: Moderated panel for question-and-answer session
- 4:15 – 5 pm: Attendees may provide statements
- 5 – 6 pm: Virtual “open house”
Presentations will be made available to the public on the departments’ webpage beforehand in preparation for the webcast. State government officials will be available from 2-6 p.m. as planned to present on the cultural, health and economic impacts of oil and gas activity in New Mexico and answer questions. Participants are encouraged to ask questions via the question feature on the webcast or text the moderator Julia Barnes at 505-470-7349 to submit questions to the presenters.
A free conference call line will also be provided for anyone who does not have the ability to access the video portion of the webcast. Please contact Susan Torres 505 476-3226, firstname.lastname@example.org to request a toll free number. For phone access only dial (415) 655-0052 code 421-151-200. The meeting will also be recorded and posted online for anyone unable to access the livestream.
EMNRD and NMED continue to strive for a transparent process and appreciate the public understanding the change of format. We encourage the public to learn more about our methane strategy. We welcome feedback after the event on the use of virtual meeting tools in this situation.