Wednesday, February 28, 2018

NM oil and gas power play

Good expose. The highlights follow. See the article for the informative and damning details.
  1. NMOGA’s Executive Director, Ryan Flynn, gave a speech last October to members of his association, the full transcript of which was leaked and full of some pretty concerning rhetoric. Besides proclaiming that his intention was to make NMOGA the “most powerful organization” in the state, Flynn also unabashedly pointed out his close personal ties with Governor Susana Martinez and touted that relationship as something positive for oil and gas companies. He also demonized grassroots organizations that have fought for stricter regulations and fought for clean energy throughout the state.
  2. We learned that Flynn had been tapped by President Trump to head up the California branch of the Environmental Protection Agency, a move that has chilling prospects based on Flynn’s close ties to the extraction industry that the EPA is charged with helping regulate. He declined the job, but it is very compelling that someone so highly esteemed by the Trump administration is pulling the strings of New Mexico’s most powerful lobby.
  3. Flynn, NMOGA, and the individual companies that make up the state’s oil and gas powerhouse lobby often make claims about what they contribute to the state in terms of dollar amounts. But they routinely ignore their impact on our environment through, for instance, the wasted methane that is vented or flared in oil production and capturing natural gas. We revealed that the dollar amount of wasted methane alone could help fund early childhood education and the methane itself could easily power every home in New Mexico if the industry took steps to capture the lost product.
  4. NMOGA’s claims that their industry helps New Mexico clearly overlooks some of the very real consequences and damages that the extraction industry has done, AND they’re constantly fighting for less regulation to go even further. Under their guidance, the state has seen pipeline bursts that caused widespread evacuations, pushing for rules to be changed to be able to build closer to schools and homes, and a giant cloud of methane that hovers over the Four Corners region and all of the associated health risks associated with that.

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