May 12, 2016

Udall Welcomes New Standards to Combat Methane Pollution

Rules to reduce waste will save NM millions of dollars in lost revenue for taxpayers and producers, protect families, fight global warming

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's final rules for new and modified oil and gas wells, which limit emissions of methane, a potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas that, combined with other pollutants, has been linked to cancer, lung ailments, and other public health problems:

"Natural gas waste has cost New Mexico taxpayers and oil and gas producers millions of dollars - while contributing to a methane hot spot the size of Delaware over the San Juan Basin - and we must take action to save money and protect public health, our climate and clean air. These common-sense new standards will improve efficiency and protect health by reducing dangerous smog pollution. They make good business sense, and they are a win for taxpayers.

"But while I appreciate the administration's important steps today, we must continue to act on appropriate and cost-effective methane reductions. Not only have New Mexico taxpayers and producers lost more than $100 million in revenue due to waste through venting, flaring and leaks, pollution from that waste is costing Americans hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs, and it's harming our air, water and quality of life. Reining in methane pollution may be one of the most important steps we can take to slow global warming."