Las Cruces – A Federal Judge has rejected an attempt by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a number of conservation groups.
The lawsuit was filed last year by a variety of groups, including the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces.
It seeks to require the BLM to account for the climate change impacts of its oil and gas leasing decisions.
In particular, the lawsuit seeks to compel the BLM to require oil and gas companies to help keep methane out of the atmosphere.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that oil and gas operations are the largest human-made source of methane and account for 24% of total methane emissions in the United States.
The EPA has identified over 120 technologies and practices to effectively reduce methane waste while also making operations more efficient.
But the BLM does not require oil and gas companies to join the effort.