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Lujan Grisham calls for unity with oil and gas in climate change goals

Speaking before a group of oil and gas executives, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she hoped the oil and gas industry could be part of the state’s efforts to reduce pollution.

Her remarks came during the annual meeting of trade group New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, which represents operators throughout the state during policy discussions and other decision-making processes.

The event brought industry leaders, state officials and lawmakers together Oct. 4 and 5 in Santa Fe for discussions ranging from the future of energy in New Mexico to policies being put in place to continue regulating the sector.

More:‘Crude intentions?’ Group slams oil and gas on billboards across southeast New Mexico

As the discussions took place, New Mexico’s Energy Improvement Board was considering new regulations on air pollution emissions from oil and gas developments intended to curb levels of ground-level ozone, after the gas was found by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to be heightened in fossil-producing-regions like southeast New Mexico’s Permian Basin.

New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks at a news conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The rules became controversial as NMED and NMOGA sparred over the cost of compliance, with the industry reporting via its own study the rules would up the cost of compliance by $780 million and NMED contending it would cost $338 million.

NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney, a lead proponent of the rules, was not a speaker at the event. His co-member of the state’s Climate Change Task Force Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst was slated to speak on the second day of the meeting – EMNRD’s new emission controls already took effect this spring.

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