Pollution

Oil and gas pollution rules benefit public health, environment, economy

As the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine grinds on, the world is focused on finding a replacement for Russian natural gas. Meanwhile every year, America loses nearly $2 billion worth of natural gas (in the form of methane) due to faulty equipment or inefficient practices such as venting and flaring at oil and gas well sites. This makes no sense geopolitically or for our environment.

Colorado and New Mexico are creating a blueprint for the nation to reduce methane waste and pollution with oil and gas regulations that offer environmental, public health and economic benefits. Last year, New Mexico joined Colorado in banning venting and flaring, and it is on the verge of requiring comprehensive leak inspection and repair, including at small, leak-prone well sites. Landmark state efforts like these make economic sense for operators and are common sense for protecting communities and the environment in energy producing states. As federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management consider new oil and gas regulations, they should follow Colorado and New Mexico’s lead with the same sensible methane protections.

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