Methane actions front and center at State Legislature

Today at the Roundhouse, lawmakers, environmental experts, and a local ranchers held a press conference on the Obama-era methane rule and Gov. Susana Martinez’s efforts to roll back the rule in New Mexico.Watch the event from our Facebook Live feed:

Speakers included:

Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe)
Sen. Benny Shendo Jr. (D-Jemez Pueblo)
Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Albuquerque)
along with Jon Goldstein of the Environmental Defense Fund,
Don Schreiber, a Rio Arriba County rancher and gas lease land holder
and Patrick von Bargen of the Center for Methane Emissions Solutions. Following the press conference, a crowd of concerned citizens – including members of Conservation Voters NM, The Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter and ProgressNowNM – marched up to the fourth floor and hand-delivered petitions to the Governor’s office to tell her that New Mexico needs the methane rule, and ProgressNow New Mexico was there to capture all of the action. The methane rule is a regulation implemented by the Bureau of Land Management that requires oil and natural gas producers to fix leaks and update equipment to prevent methane from flaring into the atmosphere. Read more: What is the Methane Rule? Last month, however, Gov. Martinez wrote a letter to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan to urge Congress to repeal the rule.

Love (and Methane) is in the Air for Gov. Martinez

Governor Susana Martinez is in love. In love with oil and gas companies, that is. A couple of weeks ago, Gov. Martinez wrote a letter to U.S Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, urging Congress to repeal the “methane rule.”

She was referring, of course, to the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane and Waste Reduction Rule, which seeks to “reduce the waste of natural gas from flaring, venting, and leaks from oil and gas production on public and Indian lands.”

This is alarming for a number of reasons, including the fact that three years ago NASA discovered a methane spot the size of Delaware hovering above the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico, home to tens of thousands of oil and gas wells. Martinez’s motives for doing this make no sense. The methane rule is a common sense regulation that protects the environment from careless oil and gas companies.

You wont’ believe what NM oil and gas companies want do to with $104 million in NM taxpayer subsidies

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. Source: Four Corners residents petition Washington on BLM flaring rules
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.”