New Mexico treasurer says methane proposal has loopholes

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico’s state treasurer is calling on state environmental regulators to close loopholes in proposed rules aimed at reducing emissions of methane and other pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry.

State Treasurer Tim Eichenberg, a Democrat, confirmed Wednesday that he has joined with a long list of socially responsible investment groups that are citing gaps in proposed regulations from the Environment Department and the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. They outlined their position in a letter sent Tuesday to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Lujan Grisham’s administration has said New Mexico stands to have some of the most expansive rules for addressing methane and other emissions from the oil and gas industry after many meetings with industry experts and environmentalists.

Oil and gas industry representatives have said they support efforts to reduce pollution and that many companies already have taken steps to address leaks and upgrade equipment. They also have cautioned state regulators that one size will not fit all as the producing basins in New Mexico have different considerations and that there needs to be a balance that allows for development to continue.

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