Reforming Oil & Gas Operations

We are working to ensure oil and gas development in the American West does not undermine our transition to renewable energy, to protect wildlands and communities threatened with oil and gas leasing and drilling, and to reduce methane pollution and waste.

My View: Finally, a smoking gun in New Mexico’s methane ‘hot spot’

8/27/2016

In 2014, New Mexico made national headlines when scientists discovered an atmospheric anomaly above the Four Corners: a 2,500-square-mile cloud of methane (natural gas) — the largest such plume in the nation. At the time, industry data showed that oil and gas development was responsible for 90 percent of the known methane emissions. Nonetheless, for the next two years, the oil and gas industry blamed every other imaginable methane source, refusing to take responsibility for the "hot spot" and its associated health and climate threats.

Environmentalists sue feds to block oil, gas lease sales

8/25/2016

A Santa Fe-based environmental group filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration Thursday, seeking a moratorium on all oil and gas lease sales on public land until the completion of an analysis showing how drilling impacts climate change.

WildEarth Guardians and Washington, D.C.-based Physicians for Social Responsibility claim in the suit that nearly 400 drilling leases were sold across 380,000 acres of public land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming without any analysis of the environmental or public health effects.

Thousands Speak out for Climate and Chaco Canyon, Call for Canceling New Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale (News Release 9/2/16)

9/02/2016
New Mexicans Demand Obama Administration Protect Public Lands and Communities, Keep Oil and Gas In the Ground

A coalition today called on the Obama Administration to rein in unchecked fracking near Chaco Canyon and abandon its plans to auction off nearly 1,000 acres of public lands to the oil and gas industry in Greater Chaco.

Obama Administration Sued to Protect Climate, Public Lands from Drilling and Fracking (News Release 8/25/16)

8/25/2016
10 Million Acres Leased for Oil and Gas by Obama, Yet Climate Change Consistently Ignored

WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility today filed a landmark federal lawsuit to defend our climate, our health, and American public lands from widespread oil and gas leasing, drilling, and fracking. Plaintiffs are challenging 397 leases spanning almost 380,000 acres.

NASA Says Methane "Hot Spot" in New Mexico Linked Directly to Gas Extraction and Coal Mining (News Release 8/15/16)

Study says 250 polluters are responsible for half of the emissions causing the "hot spot"

NASA released a new study today examining what caused a methane "hot spot" to form in New Mexico. This new study of methane emissions generated by the oil and gas industry in the state's San Juan Basin is a major step forward in understanding the causes of New Mexico’s methane “hot spot.” It follows up on a 2014 satellite-based study that initially found the “hot spot,” and sought to identify its specific causes.
 

[UPDATED] Only two highly polluting states challenge EPA methane rule (News Release 8/2/16)

8/02/2016
Broad support for common-sense emissions reductions persists

[UPDATE: After releasing this statement, 14 states filed a lawsuit against the EPA and Gina McCarthy over the methane new source rule, calling it "in excess of the agency's statutory authority and otherwise is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law." We disagree -- reducing air pollution is precisely the purpose of the Clean Air Act, on which this rule is based.

Groups Challenge BLM Plan to Double Drilling in Colorado River Valley (Press Release 7/18/16)

7/18/2016
Plan Allows Concentrated Drilling in Communities, But Fails to Consider Human Health and Climate

Today a coalition of environmental watchdog groups challenged a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plan to expand oil and gas drilling on Colorado’s Western Slope, intensifying well density in communities already forced to endure a legacy of industrial gas development. BLM’s Colorado River Valley Resource Management Plan (RMP) failed to analyze the impacts of such concentrated development on human health and wellbeing, ignored the resulting effects on climate change, and failed to consider mitigation measures to reduce these impacts.

Report: Living near oil & gas emissions increases cancer risk

6/16/2016

More than 145,000 New Mexicans who live within a half-mile of oil and gas operations face a higher risk of cancer and respiratory diseases, according to data from a new mapping project.

Obama Administration Finalizes Safeguards for Methane Pollution (Press Release 5/12/16)

5/12/2016
Standards are the First-Ever National Protections Against Methane Pollution from the Oil and Gas Industry

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized standards for methane pollution, a component of natural gas, from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector. These safeguards are the first-ever national standards for methane pollution, a greenhouse gas that is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the near term.

Citizen Groups Challenge Fracking in Santa Fe National Forest (Press Release 5/4/16)

5/04/2016
Legal Push Part of Broader Effort to Safeguard Greater Chaco from Oil and Gas Industry

In a bid to protect New Mexico's water, air, and climate, a coalition of environmental groups filed suit yesterday challenging the Obama administration's plan to allow fracking in the Santa Fe National Forest.

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