Environmental group finds surge in Permian methane emissions

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An environmental group says it has assembled new evidence that methane emissions in New Mexico are climbing amid a surge in oil and natural gas production in the Permian Basin.

The Environmental Defense Fund on Wednesday released an analysis showing that the energy industry in New Mexico is releasing more of the potent heat-trapping gas linked to global warming than previously thought.

The group finds that statewide methane emissions are five-times higher than what is reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Defense Fund scientist David Lyon says the analysis incorporates methane-sensor measurements at about 90 locations.

New Mexico is in the early stages of developing new rules to reduce the waste of natural gas that consists primarily of methane at the direction of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.