5 facts you need know about natural gas waste in New Mexico

1. New Mexico loses millions of dollars each year from wasteful gas ‘venting’ and ‘flaring’
A March 2016 Western Values Project report details the lost royalties from natural gas flaring (burning off of gas) and venting (deliberately releasing gas into the air) during extraction on public lands in New Mexico. Using data from the Western Regional Air Partnership and EPA, WVP estimates that New Mexico lost just under $50 million in royalty revenue since 2010.

Also, WVP estimated in their 2014 Up in Flames report that taxpayers will lose upwards of $800 million nationally over the next ten years if natural gas waste on public lands is allowed to continue.

2. A Bipartisan Majority of Western Votes Favor a Strong Methane Waste Rule
In January 2016, Colorado College released a bipartisan poll that found 80% of westerners support the Obama administration’s effort to curb methane waste on public lands by requiring updates to equipment and technology and by preventing flaring and venting.

3. New Mexico’s National and State Leaders have Called for a Strong Methane Rule
In July, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham in sending a letter to the White House urging the EPA and BLM to address the methane emissions. Additionally, in February over 40 current and former local and state elected official sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management director, Mr. Neil Kornze, voicing their strong support for the draft methane rule.

4. Proven, cost-effective technologies to reduce venting and flaring already exist and are creating highly skilled, good-paying jobs
According to the Center for Methane Emissions, a business interest group, companies such as Albuquerque- based Quantigy provide innovative, effective services and technologies which enable the oil and gas industry to reduce wasteful emissions and deliver more product to market. And they’re creating highly skilled, good-paying jobs in New Mexico.

5. A Delaware-Sized Cloud of Methane Floats Above the Four Corners
In October of 2014, NASA satellites discovered a methane cloud over New Mexico’s San Juan Basin, a major natural gas field that is roughly the size of Delaware. Scientists say the cloud contains almost 600,000 metric tons of wasted methane or roughly enough natural gas to supply the residential energy needs of a city the size of Austin, Texas.

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