Defend public health and taxpayer money.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is rewriting a rule for capturing methane waste on public and tribal lands. The proposed rule falls far short of the protections our health and environment need. Submit your public comment now.»
Colorado College’s 2018 Conservation in the West poll, released last month, showed that 72% of New Mexicans support requiring oil and gas companies to capture methane before it makes its way into our environment. Yet, the Trump administration is again working to gut the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) critical methane waste capture rule.
Methane waste from natural gas operations is negatively impacting communities across New Mexico, but particularly in the San Juan Basin in the Four Corners area. It’s so extreme, NASA has observed the methane pollution cloud from space. (In fact, they were so shocked when they found it, they redid their tests.) This methane hot spot disproportionately impacts New Mexico’s rural, indigenous and Latino communities with higher asthma and cancer rates – communities already coping with a legacy of air and water pollution from coal plants. Tell Sec. Zinke you support protecting public health and oppose his proposed gutting of the BLM methane waste capture rule.»
It’s almost as if Secretary Zinke knew we, the public, wouldn’t approve of the new rule. Unsurprisingly, Secretary Zinke has taken steps to limit public input by opening only a 60-day public comment period and holding ZERO public meetings. When the original strong rule was proposed in 2016, public meetings were held in key areas and the public comment period was extended 14 days to ensure all voices were included. We won’t let Zinke and his ilk cut us out of the process. That’s why we need you to speak up in support of a strong methane rule that stops waste, captures lost royalties and taxes and protects our clean air.
This methane waste isn’t just a public health and environmental issue, it’s an economic one too. Every year, an estimated $330 million worth of natural gas is wasted through these practices on federal and tribal lands — and a huge chunk of that is literally your money going up in smoke. Here in New Mexico, it’s a whopping $101 million – that’s money that could be going to fund our schools and other public institutions.
The BLM has released a new proposal to replace the strong protections for methane waste put in place by the Obama administration. But this new draft falls far short of what we need, putting Americans’ health and safety at risk.