Today Trump’s slashing National Monuments, tomorrow he might be slashing rules that help keep methane waste and pollution under control here in New Mexico.
As the Trump administration is set to suspend a rule that cuts methane waste and pollution, today we at ProgressNow NM launched a statewide ad campaign to praise Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, and hold Rep. Steve Pearce accountable, for their votes on that same rule. (You’ll be shocked (shocked!) to know that Rep. Pearce voted to prevent the reduction of the waste.)
The two-week, five-figure video ad campaign begins today and will run on multiple platforms including Albuquerque-area TV, Roku, and online media outlets such as Fox and Huffington Post.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) methane waste rule aims to cut emissions of methane, the primary component of natural gas, from federal and tribal lands.
A recent report found that oil and gas companies waste between $180-$244 million-worth of natural gas every year from flaring, venting, and leaks in New Mexico. That is enough gas to meet the heating and cooking needs of every home in the state. More than half of that waste occurs on federal and tribal lands alone.
Typically, no royalty or severance tax dollars are collected when natural gas is wasted, costing New Mexico taxpayers upwards of $27 million per year in revenues.
The BLM methane waste rule was adopted last November and has come under repeated attacks. The oil and gas industry has sued to stop the rule and last spring an attempt to overturn the rule failed in the U.S. Senate thanks to bipartisan opposition. Now, the Trump administration is currently finalizing a proposal that would delay implementation of the rule for two years despite protests in New Mexico and across the West. The administration has also begun to undertake another rule-making effort to either rewrite or rescind the BLM methane waste rule altogether.
New Mexico’s methane waste problem first made headlines when a 2014 NASA study revealed a 2,500-square-mile methane “hot spot” over the Four Corners region. Researchers later learned that pollution from New Mexico’s oil and gas facilities were largely the cause of this massive methane cloud, and that about 10 percent of sites were responsible for about half of all observed emissions.
Watch the ads
The ads feature New Mexico rancher Don Schreiber and U.S. Army Iraq War veteran and Navajo Nation member Tina Garnanez. The ads express disappointment that U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (click to view) sponsored an amendment in a recent appropriations bill that would have stripped funding to implement the BLM methane waste rule and openly allow the oil and gas industry to waste energy resources. The other ads thank Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (click to view) and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (click to view) for their leadership in fighting to cut methane waste including by their votes against U.S. Rep. Pearce’s amendment.
Polluting our air and wasting New Mexico’s energy is unacceptable. Our representatives in Congress should defend commonsense solutions to cut the waste. When New Mexico’s oil and gas industry wastes our natural gas through flaring and leaks, it means more pollution and less funding for our schools.
Thankfully, U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham stood up for New Mexico taxpayers. Shame on U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce for sponsoring legislation that wastes taxpayer-owned resources and hurts our schools.