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oil and gas development

  • New Mexico's landmark 2021 Methane Rule banned routine venting and flaring of natural gas. But some 15 exceptions for pipeline operators allow such venting and flaring in certain circumstances, including when gas is so far out of pipeline specifications that it constitutes an “emergency,” which is what the company claimed 10 times in the first two months of the year, each time releasing millions of cubic feet of the potent greenhouse gas.
  • A judge heard arguments on Friday on whether a high-profile environmental lawsuit brought on by the Center of Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and several frontline Native American communities should go to trial.
  • New Mexico is once again seeing record revenues as lawmakers meet in Santa Fe to create a budget. That’s in large part due to booming oil and gas production. The state is the second-largest oil producer in the country and among the top 10 in natural gas production. But a number of bills in the legislative session would make big changes if they pass.
  • A settlement between the state of New Mexico and Ridgeway Arizona Oil Corp. will plug 299 of the company’s moribund, nonproducing oil wells, with the state paying the costs and the company reimbursing the state $30,000 a month until the bill is repaid.
  • A trio of major oil and gas producers are testing a new-to-New Mexico process to keep natural gas in the ground when it can’t be transported, sold or otherwise shipped through a pipeline. So far, New Mexico’s closed-loop gas capture systems projects are small, and their promise hasn’t panned out in the oil and gas fields.
  • The Bureau of Land Management has proposed comprehensive changes to its rules for oil and gas leasing on federal land for the first time since 1988. The revision is designed to increase industry returns for taxpayers while also reducing harm to wildlife and cultural resources as part of the agency’s effort to better balance development with conservation. New Mexicans are invited to attend an information session in Albuquerque Tuesday to learn more about it ahead of submitting input.
  • Former Acoma Pueblo Governor Brian Vallo talks with New Mexico In Focus correspondent Antonia Gonzales about the cultural significance of Chaco Canyon to his pueblo in the wake of new protections around the site from oil and gas development.
  • As a top oil and gas producer, New Mexico has some of the strictest emissions rules in the country. That includes a state Environment Department rule that went into effect last year that aims to reduce ozone-causing air pollution by 260 million pounds a year. However, Environment Secretary James Kenney says the agency is falling short on enforcing the rules and is asking the Legislature to help change that.
  • A report from the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks sounds the alarm on harm from oil and gas development on four national parks, calling on the federal government to do more to protect them. Half of the parks are in New Mexico, the second-leading oil-producing state in the country.
  • The Bureau of Land Management is set to auction off over 3200 acres of New Mexico’s land to oil and gas companies after public comment expires in early February. Amid a growing climate crisis, environmentalists are voicing their concerns with this expansion in fossil fuel development in the southwest.