On Thursday, the three-member New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission voted unanimously on new rules that will severely handicap the oil and gas industry in regards to emission standards due to venting and flaring, according to a report from Bloomberg News.
Gas producing plants, oil companies, and pipeline operators will have until 2026 to reduce their gas emissions to 2% of production. “The two counties that make up the New Mexico part of the Permian have seen flaring and venting soar as drillers move past legacy acreage in Texas to the newer — and gassier — Delaware sub-basin,” reports Bloomberg.
According to the report, the rules are a “compromise” between regulators, industry, and environmentalists to curb methane emissions. The Commission’s vote on Thursday follows two years of debate and two weeks of public comment in January. The new rules are expected to go into effect in May.
The commissioners include Adrienne Sandoval of the Conservation Division, who serves as the chair, Dr. Thomas Engler of New Mexico Tech, and Greg Bloom, Assistant Commissioner for Mineral Resources at the New Mexico State Land Office.
According to a spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, which has stayed neutral on many job-killing anti-energy bills said, “We will strive for full compliance with the final rule, and we commend this commission for undertaking a collaborative approach throughout this two-year process.”
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department secretary Sarah Propst claimed the new rule, “creates a level playing field for the industry.” She also said, “Some companies are already investing in that takeaway capacity upfront and doing everything right while others maybe aren’t because they didn’t have to before.”
These new rules will heavily impact drilling and production on federal lands. According to radical leftist environmental group Environmental Defense Fund’s Daniel Grossman, “The Trump administration rolled back strong regulations.” He said, “But now with the Biden administration, that’s probably something that the Department of the Interior will address with the new leadership of [Interior] Secretary Deb Haaland, who is from New Mexico and understands the issue better than most.”
Haaland is an extremist when it comes to oil and gas, favoring a complete ban on fracking, which produces clean natural gas and fuels New Mexico’s economy. The Governor’s commission and its new ruling makes it clear that the oil and gas industry, which produces nearly 40% of revenues for the state budget, is in danger of extinction if Lujan Grisham gets her way.