Poll: New Mexicans Support Strong State Methane Standards

Dec 19, 2017

Commentary: The Majority Institute released the results of recent statewide research conducted in New Mexico that shows broad and deep support for new methane standards for the oil and gas industry.

Key findings include:

  • Strong and deep support exists for a new state rule to limit methane waste. Nearly two thirds of New Mexico voters (65 percent) favor a new state rule “requiring New Mexico's oil and gas industry to use technologies to limit the amount of methane gas and other pollution leaked, vented, or flared from oil and gas facilities.” Support for the effort is intense, with a majority of voters saying they “strongly favor” the rule. Just 26 percent of voters oppose the plan.
  • Support for the new rule crosses political, racial, and geographic lines. Support for a new state methane rule is not only strong, but also broad. Strong majorities of self-identified Democrats (86 percent favor) and Independents (61 percent) support the new rule, and a plurality of Republicans (46 percent) also favor the rule. Both Anglo (65 percent support) and Hispanic voters (68 percent support) show strong support for the methane rule. More than 6 out of 10 voters in each of the state’s Congressional Districts favor the new rule.
  • Voters view implementing new methane waste standards as an important part of the boom in Permian Basin drilling. With investment increasing in southeastern New Mexico oil and gas development and some producers announcing efforts to limit methane waste, fully 87 percent of voters say that it is important for all of New Mexico’s oil and gas companies to follow the same standards to limit methane waste and pollution. More than half of voters—52 percent—see these standards as very important.
  • Voters are more likely to vote for candidates for Governor and state legislature who support a new state methane rule. Voters’ support for the methane rule translates into a willingness to reward leaders who also back the plan. A plurality of voters (46 percent) say they are more likely to vote for a gubernatorial candidate who supports a new methane rule; just 11 percent are less likely to support that candidate. Likewise, 43 percent of voters are more likely to vote for a legislative candidate who supports a new methane rule, compared to 15 percent who would be less likely to support that candidate.

The research, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for TMI, surveyed 400 likely 2018 general election voters by live callers who contacted both cell and landline phones.

This GQR Research was conducted between October 12-18, 2017 and has a margin of error rate of +/-4.9 percentage points.