February 13, 2018
Late yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management released a proposal that would dismantle the methane waste prevention rule, rolling back regulations intended to minimize the waste of methane from oil and gas production on public lands. This is yet another example of Secretary Zinke saying he supports our public lands, but undermining those statements with his actions.
The original methane waste prevention rule was widely supported by both industry and the public as a commonsense measure to prevent the waste of energy resources on public lands and maximize the efficiency of oil and gas operations. The BLM’s proposed revisions strip away the intent of the original rule, removing cost-saving regulations meant to be a win-win for taxpayers and oil and gas producers.
“New Mexicans have been strong supporters of the methane waste prevention rule, with 72% in support of methane capture regulations,” said Sophie Shemas, Public Lands Fellow at the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “Perhaps this is because our state loses roughly $100 million each year due to widespread methane leaks–money that could be going to our schools or back into the pockets of taxpayers. By dismantling this rule today, the BLM and Secretary Zinke are once again not listening to the citizens they’re supposed to be representing.”
Secretary Zinke and the BLM continue to push forward short-sighted policies that promote wasteful mismanagement and undercut the public’s vision for the long-term conservation of our public lands.