An aggressive methane rule would be really dumb, especially right now

Voices for Children can always be counted on to propose the worst possible policy ideas for New Mexico. Recently they argued in the Albuquerque Journal  that “now is exactly the right time for New Mexico to enact nationally leading (read costly) regulations to reduce methane waste and pollution.”

Oddly, they also argue that “over-reliance on oil and gas revenue leaves our state vulnerable.” We actually agree with the latter statement. New Mexico IS over-reliant on oil and gas, but that’s because the Legislature hasn’t enacted policies that make New Mexico an attractive place to do business.

Speaking directly about the methane issue, however, natural gas prices are low and going even lower. New regulations will cause permanent closure of so-called “marginal” gas wells. This is likely the goal of Voices and the radical environmentalists calling for strict methane rules.

However, with oil production plummeting in the Permian Basin (and likely elsewhere) natural gas prices and thus production in the Four Corners (where gas, not oil is the primary product) COULD be set to rebound in a few months.

The Four Corners faces a dire economic future due to low natural gas prices and the shutdown of San Juan Generating Station. New Mexico is essentially seeing 40% of its budget evaporate. Following the path laid out by Voices would be another self-inflicted wound for NM/the Four Corners.

EPA says NM methane down, but some question data » Albuquerque Journal