Senators Heinrich, King, and Markey and Majority Leader Schumer introduced a resolution in the Senate and U.S. Reps. DeGette, Peters, and Lamb introduced a resolution in the House that would reinstate the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 methane pollution safeguards.
The New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission finalized a new rule proposed by the state’s Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department to limit venting and flaring of methane by the oil and gas industry. The OCC rule marks an important step forward in reducing methane waste, a significant climate pollutant, and holding the oil and gas industry accountable for the tremendous amounts of greenhouse gases it is currently emitting in New Mexico.
In response to The Department of the Interior virtual public forum the Greater Chaco Coalition, a collaborative effort between over 200 Indigenous community leaders and groups, environmental justice advocates, and environmental groups representing thousands of New Mexicans and millions of Americans issued a public statement that the oil and gas leasing program must be fundamentally reformed.
In New Mexico alone, there are more than 3 million acres currently leased to oil and gas companies for exploration and drilling. Because of outdated rate structures, these leases go for far less than market value, creating huge revenue losses to the state.
On September 16, conservation groups joined hundreds of others in urging Gov. Lujan-Grisham’s state agencies to take advantage of the opportunity to slash our state’s climate pollution and make the air healthier for all of us.
The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, Environment New Mexico, and Western Leaders Network are co-hosting a webinar on Thursday, August 27th at 2pm with U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján to highlight the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’ report on Solving the Climate Crisis and its importance for New Mexico.
We are grateful that the Lujan Grisham Administration is moving forward with rules, addressing the global climate crisis, even while facing the urgency of the pandemic
On August 14, the US EPA finalized its proposals to eliminate methane protections from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards. This rollback undermines EPA’s own mission by threatening public health, and disproportionately hurts Black and Brown communities who are already exposed to air pollution from oil and gas development at much higher rates – the same communities that are already suffering the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On July 16, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California invalidated the Trump Administration’s rollback of the Obama-era Waste Prevention Rule. This ruling means that the Waste Prevention Rule goes back in effect in 90 days, and the oil and gas industry will have to comply with the Rule’s requirements to prevent waste of gas on federal lands.
Moving to protect the climate, public health, and to further environmental justice, a coalition filed suit to overturn the sale of leases on nearly 41,000 acres of public land in New Mexico for oil and gas drilling. The BLM did not allow a comment period on the lease sale’s draft environmental assessment, and held only a lightning-quick, 10-day protest period. In addition, the coalition charges that for this lease sale.