New Mexico AG critical of rolling back methane rules

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 2:03 PM

ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is criticizing the Trump administration’s move to roll back rules intended to reduce methane leaks from oil and gas operations.

Balderas, a Democrat, issued a statement Tuesday after the Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed substitute for the Obama-era methane regulations.

Balderas has been a vocal critic. He and the attorney general of California sued the Trump administration last summer for delaying rules to reduce methane leaks on federal lands.

He contends the proposal would have environmental effects and waste the state’s natural resources if companies aren’t required to capture more of the gas.

The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association says the proposed rules will allow for development and more job creation while still mandating annual inspections and requiring leaks to be fixed.