Oil and gas operators voice concerns at hearing on New Mexico emissions

Jerry McHugh worried stricter emissions rules on oil and gas facilities could damage the bottom line of smaller, marginal wells throughout New Mexico.

McHugh, owner of San Juan Resources in Farmington which operates about 40 wells throughout the northwest San Juan Basin said new rules proposed by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) risked raising costs on smaller wells that could stymie production throughout the state.

NMED’s rules were presented before the State’s Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) during a two-week hearing concluding Friday.

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The Board heard testimony from oil and gas producers, stakeholders, elected officials and concerned citizens.

Some called for tougher rules, arguing stricter regulations were needed to combat pollution and climate change, while industry leaders urged caution the state to not enact rules that could negatively affect one its biggest industries and economic drivers.