Today, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke proposed gutting the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Methane Waste Prevention rule, which was designed to limit the wasteful venting and flaring of methane from oil and gas operations on public lands.
And Congressman Steve Pearce was right there to applaud this giant step backward.
In supporting efforts to rollback needed methane waste standards, Pearce is completely ignoring the fact that methane venting and flaring costs New Mexicans MILLIONS in lost revenue every year. New Mexico wastes more natural gas (primarily made up of methane) from it’s federal and tribal lands than any other state – $100 million worth of natural gas annually that should be generating millions more in royalty revenue for New Mexico schools.
Pearce has a long history of supporting the extraction industry over the actual wishes of his own constituents. Whether it’s voting against the methane rule or opposing preserving public lands, Pearce has sided with extraction related industries at every turn.
Secretary Zinke’s proposal would severely weaken efforts to curb waste on public lands, leading to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer-owned energy every year. This is a gut punch to Americans that will make our kids sick and hurt Western communities to boot.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of stakeholders expressed their overwhelming support for pollution standards to reduce methane waste and keep our air clean. Even the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate voted to save the rule.
Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration are once again bowing to the wishes of their corporate friends instead of preserving American resources and providing greater economic protections for taxpayers and families.
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