Dear Editor,

The war in Ukraine makes New Mexico’s efforts to reduce oil and gas waste and pollution even more critical. The Permian Basin is experiencing record levels of drilling, increasing the public health and environmental impacts on those living closest to development and all of us. Methane waste and pollution costs our schools millions in lost revenue, threatens air quality and public health and harms our climate for future generations.\

Today, we have a tremendous opportunity to enact a nation-leading solution when the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) finalizes the New Mexico Environment Department’s proposed oil and gas air pollution rules in April. The final rule must allow no exemptions to leak detection and repair requirements and protect those living closest to well sites by requiring more frequent inspections to find and fix leaks.

The EIB should resist industry attempts to weaken the regulation and instead include key improvements supported by public health advocates, local communities and even Oxy, the state’s second largest oil producer, that will deliver the strongest possible protections.


Heather Kline


Heather Kline, Socorro