Thursday, September 23, 2021

Play

States are poised to help resettle Afghan evacuees who fled their home country after the U.S. military exit; efforts emerge to help Native Americans gain more clean energy independence.

Play

Sen. Mitch McConnell refuses to support raising the debt ceiling; Biden administration pledges $500 million of COVID vaccine doses globally; and U.S. military says it's taking steps to combat sexual assault.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Methane: New Rules Coming for NM's Invisible Pollutant

Play

Monday, December 14, 2020   

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Environmentalists in New Mexico celebrated progress made during the Obama administration to stop pollution from oil and gas.

But President Donald Trump gutted those rules, and conservationists say that's why the state needs its own robust safeguards.

Camilla Feibelman, director of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, is hopeful the incoming Biden administration will restore rules to reduce methane waste and pollution by 65% by 2025 from 2012 levels.

"Right now a quarter of the global warming we're experiencing is caused by methane emissions," Feibelman explained. "And when this stuff is leaked or vented or flared, royalties don't come into the federal government and to the state government."

New Mexico oil and gas regulators will begin meetings next month to codify new regulations on methane and natural-gas emissions and take testimony.

Feibelman encouraged residents to comment on the proposed draft ahead of Jan. 4, or attend the virtual meeting that day.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said she wants New Mexico to be the nation's leader on rules governing methane and ozone even as state tax revenues generated by the industry traditionally have funded up to 40% of the state budget.

Nathalie Eddy, an oil and gas field advocate attorney for Earthworks in New Mexico, said right now there isn't enough on-the-ground oversight.

"There are about 11 inspectors in New Mexico and there are 57,000-plus sites," Eddy outlined. "So New Mexico regulators are sorely outnumbered and limited in what they can do."

Jon Goldstein, director of regulatory and legislative affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund, said more than one million tons of methane are released from oil and gas sites in New Mexico each year, valued at $271 million.

"If the state were capturing that, and putting it to good use, that would be about $43 million a year, every year in revenue, additional revenue, to the state budget," Goldstein argued.

The American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2020" report gave failing grades for ozone pollution to New Mexico's Eddy, Lea and San Juan counties.

Disclosure: Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Political canvassing across the country dropped dramatically during the 2020 election due to concerns over COVID-19 transmission via in-person door-knocking. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

LEWISBURG, W.Va. -- Political canvassers and organizers in the state are expecting they will continue to struggle with challenges to traditional …


Environment

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A federal court agreed with conservationists this week, ordering winter feeding of elk on the Bridger-Teton National Forest …

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. -- In the near future, North Dakota is poised to help resettle 49 Afghan evacuees who fled their home country after the U.S. military …


Local opposition to the proposed land swap was strong before the Idaho Department of Lands rejected the deal. (PNS/Corbeil)

Environment

MCCALL, Idaho -- After the rejection of a developer's proposed land swap near Payette Lake, a coalition of groups wants the state to do the opposite…

Health and Wellness

DENVER -- Colorado's ability to respond to COVID-19 was blunted by decades of disinvestment in critical public services, according to a new report…

Beginning in 2022, Nebraska's Department of Education will begin offering farm-to-school producer training in various regions of the state. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

GERING, Neb. -- With school back in session, many Nebraska students will be fueled by fresh beef, fruits and vegetables sourced from local farms…

Social Issues

By Abaki Beck for Yes!Media.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

PHOENIX - They are irritating, they are unwanted - and now, robocalls are illegal. Consumer watchdog groups hope a looming deadline will finally …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021