New Mexico

Three Key Things to Know About EDF’s Latest New Mexico Methane Study

Despite efforts by the industry to reduce emissions, a new report claims methane emissions from oil and natural gas production in New Mexico are five times higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates.

In fact, the analysis from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) claims these methane emissions are about “twice as high” as the group’s previous estimates in the state. Jumping from estimates of 570,000 metric tons per year to about 1 million metric tons annually is alarming, but should also – at the very least – warrant serious scrutiny, especially since EPA data show the state’s methane emissions to be only 19 percent of what EDF is claiming.

A closer examination of EDF’s analysis shows that questionable choices in methodology, use of disputed studies and reliance on vaguely defined “abnormal emissions” all raise considerable doubts about the research team’s claims about methane in New Mexico.

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