On Friday afternoon, the federal government will stop taking comments on the President’s proposed rule to require oil and gas drillers working on public lands to plug leaks, limit the release of noxious global warming gases and increase royalty payments to local schools across the West – but not before oil and gas companies turn in thousands of comments opposing it.
New Mexico’s biggest oil and gas producers have turned out employees and distributed petitions claiming that proposed methane rules will kill thousands of jobs in local communities.
You can watch KOB-TV’s very one-sided story featuring these “stop the destruction of 9,000 jobs” petitions online:
They are new rules intended to help the energy industry and the environment, but opponents say they will end up costing thousands of jobs. That’s why one group is working to collect signatures to send to Washington showing opposition to Bureau of Land Management rule changes for venting and flaring by residents.
The don’t have any actual data to back that up nor do they mention that “New Mexico taxpayers contribute $104 million per year in subsidies to the oil and gas industry — or $285,000 per day.”
They can afford to do the right thing.
What New Mexico’s Oil and Gas Association and big oil companies fail to mention is that their reckless practices of allowing leaky pipes and unregulated venting of Methane into the air are adding more methane and other toxic and greenhouse gases to the air above the Four Corners, already the home to the world’s largest methane cloud.
In recent years, New Mexico has had over 50,000 active oil and gas wells. Together those wells generate millions of dollars in royalties for New Mexico’s schools and other programs, except for the over 30 million MCF (thousand cubic feet) they instead vent or flare off into the air.
Sidebar: What is venting and flaring? Earthworkshas the answer: When natural gas is produced as a byproduct of oil extraction or presents a safety problem operators will often vent (release into the air) or flare (burn) the gas.
Not only is sending all that gas into the air bad for our environment, but every bit of emissions companies choose to waste is exempt from royalties our schools are owed. It adds up: A new report puts that number at more than $50 million wasted since 2010.
So President Obama’s proposed new rule for drillers not only closes off a huge source of greenhouse gases, but it also funds New Mexico schools. A good deal right?
Help us call out big oil companies and tell BLM you support the President’s new rule to make them do the right thing for our air and for our students. Show Your Support >>