A report published by the Environmental Defense Fund in April 2019 suggests that current EPA reporting of methane emissions is off by a factor of five, and the waste of leaking the greenhouse pollutant costs New Mexico about $43 million in lost tax and royalty revenue.
On a late March weekend, State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard headed out to the Permian Basin to visit oil wells on state trust lands. Not one facility visited didn’t have visible (with a FLIR camera) emissions pouring out from pipes or seeping out of valves.
Under proposed legislation, the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard would be revised to require public utilities like PNM to get more of their resources from renewable sources like solar and wind. Weekly Alibi chats about it with Ben Shelton, the political and legislative director of New Mexico Conservation Voters.
The methane cloud over New Mexico’s San Juan Basin is the largest area of elevated methane concentration ever measured in the US. With the BLM and EPA having recently suspended the standards to limit the pollution and waste from natural gas mining, it is now up to New Mexico's leaders.