As a retired city manager I know that New Mexico’s municipalities can always use more revenue for important needs. A big source of that funding is the taxes and royalties assessed on oil and gas development. Then why is the Trump administration pushing a proposal that will – by its own assessment – mean more waste and less revenue for New Mexico?
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was in North Dakota recently addressing the North Dakota Republican Convention.
Conspicuously, during his 14-minute speech, he avoided mentioning his day job as land manager of America’s vast and spectacular national public lands, including the energy development that happens on those lands. He also didn’t mention his work to repeal guidelines that ought to be saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars by preventing the waste of the public’s natural gas resources and supporting good-paying jobs in the methane mitigation industry.
Here in Colorado, we value our public lands, open spaces, recreational opportunities, and the conservation of our natural resources. So why then are energy companies setting fire to our precious public resources and revenues?
As President Barack Obama wrapped up his second term in office, the federal government put in place a common-sense rule requiring oil and gas companies developing on public lands to capture methane emissions and fix leaks in their wells and pipelines to prevent the loss of this potent gas. The rule served two important purposes: prevent the needless waste of American energy and ensure a fair return on royalties when publicly-owned resources are developed. And perhaps more importantly, the rule would help cut pollution and protect the air we all breathe.
I know southern New Mexico needs all the funding we can get right now to provide for our families and communities. That is why I am so opposed to a proposal from U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that would mean millions of dollars in wasted New Mexico natural resources and less funding for urgent needs like roads and schools.
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In the viewpoint published on March 17th Dr. Robert Chase presents a false choice between the economic benefits of oil and gas development and clean air protections for Ohio communities. The truth is that we can both encourage a more responsible energy industry and protect our air.
As a recreation-business owner and resident of Utah, I’ve spent significant time exploring the beautiful public lands our state has to offer. Many of my fondest memories come from times I’ve spent with friends and loved ones exploring our state’s pristine public lands. That’s why I opened my business, Poison Spider Bicycles, in Moab — to help others enjoy the beauty of Utah just as I have.
Before leaving office, President Obama instituted a rule limiting the oil and gas industry’s wasting of natural gas on public and tribal lands. The standard, formally known as the Methane Waste Prevention Rule, was a set of commonsense updates – such as requiring companies to detect and fix leaky equipment – projected to bring in an additional $23 million annually in royalties to states, tribes and federal taxpayers, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 950,000 cars off the road.