Home New mexico state New Mexico regulators consider more oil and gas rules | New Mexico News

New Mexico regulators consider more oil and gas rules | New Mexico News


By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) — New Mexico regulators are considering adopting another set of rules proposed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration to tackle pollution in the oil and natural gas sector amid a rekindled national debate over domestic production as concerns grow over instability in the global energy market.

The proposal before the State Council for Environmental Improvement is the second element of the Democratic governor’s plan to tackle pollution blamed for worsening climate change. State oil and gas regulators passed separate rules earlier this year to limit venting and flaring to reduce methane pollution.

Council members were due to begin considering the proposal Thursday morning.

This latest effort, led by the state Department of Environment, focuses on oilfield equipment that emits smog-causing pollution.

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New Mexico Environmental Secretary James Kenney touted the rules as the most comprehensive in the United States.

The proposal includes minimum requirements for operators to calculate their emissions and have them certified by an engineer and to regularly find and fix leaks. The rule would apply to compressors, turbines, heaters and other pneumatic devices.

If companies violate the rule, they could be hit with notices of violation, orders to comply and possibly civil penalties.

New Mexico is home to part of the Permian Basin, one of the most productive oil fields in the world. Initial concerns centered on how New Mexico’s proposed rules could affect the industry and reduce state revenue. These concerns have changed this week due to the instability of the global energy market and the resumption of the debate on domestic production.

State House Minority Leader Jim Townsend pointed to skyrocketing gasoline prices and described the governor’s efforts to limit oil and gas operations as “tone deaf.”

“Our state is in a unique position to ensure our nation’s energy independence and whether progressives like it or not, we must all do our part to ensure energy independence for New Mexico and the United States of America. “said Republican Artesia. “New Mexicans at all levels feel the burden of the regressive political tactics that Lujan Grisham continues to impose on all of us.

Earlier this week, Lujan Grisham joined other governors in calling on congressional leaders to back legislation that would suspend the federal gasoline tax until the end of the year.

As the emissions proposal was being finalized over the past year, environmentalists lobbied the state not to allow any exceptions, pointing to high levels of emissions at oilfields. from New Mexico.

New Mexico officials said that once passed, the rule could lead to reductions in ozone pollution that would be equivalent to taking 8 million cars off the road each year. Methane emissions would also be reduced accordingly.

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