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Environmentalists target methane emissions in New Mexico

Nov 9, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists say methane emissions from oil and natural gas production in New Mexico are higher than what state and federal regulators have measured. The Environmental Defense Fund released a report Thursday that aims to quantify the amount of methane intentionally released through venting or flaring processes as well as gas lost through unintentional leaks. The report says New Mexico's producers are emitting 570,000 tons of methane annually, amounting to $27 million in lost tax revenues and royalties that could otherwise be used for government programs and services. Last week, state regulators testified before a legislative panel that emissions have decreased over the past year thanks to advancing technology. Industry officials pointed to the reductions and argued that regulations called for by environmentalists and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall would result in job and revenue losses.