As New State Data Reveals Emissions Increase, Regulators Call for Stronger Rules and Enforcement to Reduce Oil and Gas Pollution

EDF Statement from Jon Goldstein, Director Regulatory and Legislative Affairs

December 21, 2020
Kelsey Robinson, (512) 691-3404,

(SANTA FE, NM) The New Mexico Environment Department released new data today from a series of overflights that reveal methane emissions from oil and gas operations increased significantly from 2019 to 2020 and suggested improved oversight would be necessary to significantly reduce this pollution. Methane is a potent climate pollutant responsible for at least a quarter of current global warming.

“We are thankful to Secretary Kenney and the hardworking staff of the New Mexico Environment Department for their commitment to science and for their call for stronger rules and enforcement. This effort underlines how requirements like frequent instrument-based inspections can clean up the air and protect neighboring communities.”

  • Jon Goldstein, Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund
The research is in line with a November analysis from EDF that estimates the state is likely emitting over one million tons of methane emissions a year, and with science-based measurements measuring methane emissions in the Permian Basin, indicating that problems with malfunctioning and/or unlit flares are a significant source of methane emissions.

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