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According to a recent study by Environmental Defense Fund scientists, it is the smaller and older, less productive oil and gas wells not subject to EPA methane regulations that are responsible for 50% of all methane pollution in the U.S. Those emissions are projected to have the same negative impact on the climate over the next 20 years as 80 coal-fired plants!
The EPA and New Mexico Oil Conservation Division need to crack down on this insidious form of pollution that harms our environment and New Mexicans' health. It amuses me that any time the government proposes new regulations on methane flaring, the plugging of old wells, and the like the New Mexico Oil & Gas Assn. screams bloody murder about how it will cripple the industry in New Mexico. Give me a break. No producer, large or small, should be given a pass by state and federal regulators. Yes, tax revenues from oil and gas are vitally important to the state's budget but the cost to us all should not be underestimated. How much is your health worth to you?