Commentary: James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding the new federal methane rules, released today by the EPA:
“We need strong rules that put an end to methane pollution from the oil and gas industry in order to protect today’s children – as they are disproportionately harmed by the air pollution it causes. We also need them to safeguard children of the future – as they will suffer the increasingly dire consequences of the climate crisis we continue to exacerbate.
“Methane mitigation not only keeps potent greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere, but it also decreases air pollution, which improves health, and creates jobs. And, when captured, methane can be sold on the market and converted into fuel to heat our homes. This earns more revenue for New Mexico’s schools and more profits for the oil and gas industry.
“Capturing methane is not only one of the most practical steps we can take to address climate change, but it is also one of the most immediate. We have the technology, but we have lacked the political will. The EPA’s plan includes reducing methane pollution from the production, processing, storage, and transmission of oil and natural gas. These new rules are an important first step, but they need to be strengthened as the fossil fuel industry does not seem to be ready to invest in these necessary changes unless and until they are required to do so.”