While Colorado has made huge strides in recent years to maintain a strong economy and strong environmental protections, air quality remains a challenge across the Front Range. From Fort Collins to Highlands Ranch, we still fail to meet national clean air standards.
Clean air is a nonnegotiable for Coloradans. Without it, we cannot enjoy our beautiful blue skies and our quality of life is degraded.
At current levels, the ozone (smog) in the Front Range poses a significant health risk to children and seniors – especially those with asthma or other respiratory problems. In Colorado, more than 30,000 childhood asthma attacks are attributable to our current ozone levels.
Smart business leaders know that wasting resources is bad for your bottom line and the American
economy as a whole.
That is why we were so pleased when in mid-May, the U.S. Senate — including Arizona’s Sen. John McCain — stood up for good public policy and new American businesses by voting against a bill that would have rolled back the Bureau of Land Management’s
Methane Waste Rule.
The measure, which failed 51-49, would have led to the continued waste of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-owned energy resources.
"And even though it’s still relatively new, positive results are already obvious. A survey of oil and gas operators in the state earlier this year, conducted by the Center for Methane Emissions Solutions, showed that Colorado’s rule has improved air quality and promoted worker safety. Also, many in industry are profiting because, instead of releasing natural gas into the atmosphere, it is being used to heat homes and power buildings."
"Oil and gas producers acknowledge it is in their interest to curb leaks; it gives them more natural gas to sell. They say they are stepping up monitoring efforts, and have increased the use of “green completions” at shale wells to capture methane emitted at the end of the fracking process, rather than flaring it at the well head."
For companies motivated to be proactive, we recommend focusing on fixing the leaks from the wells that leak the most methane. We would also strive for early compliance, that is comply with the rules at a faster pace than required by the new rules. By capturing the methane revenue earlier in time the economic return from compliance will increase along with corporate social responsibility – both of which can attract investors.
Wasting our natural resources goes against what we teach our kids. Hunters and anglers use all of what we kill or catch, and we feel the same about our natural resources – including taxpayer-owned natural gas resources on our public lands.
As a former State Land Commissioner, I understand how important maximizing natural resource revenue is to New Mexico’s schools. New Mexico’s state lands are managed by the commissioner as a public trust to support our public school system. That’s why I can’t understand why the current commissioner, Aubrey Dunn, is opposing efforts to reduce natural gas waste in New Mexico – efforts that will generate more money for our schools when they need it most. The facts simply do not support Dunn’s opposition to sensible waste reduction rules from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.