SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s Democratic governor addressed oil and gas in a speech acknowledging her state’s reliance on fossil fuel mining revenues while pledging to enforce pro-environment regulations.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham thanked 300 attendees of the New Mexico Oil And Gas Association meeting on Monday for their contributions to the economy and tax revenues that form the backbone of state education funding.
She pledged to restrict methane emissions at mining sites and continue enforcing regulations requiring reduced use of freshwater and thorough cleanups of environmental spills.
Producers say methane rules will cost billions.
Lujan Grisham reiterated her commitment to drafting and passing a hydrogen fuel bill, pledging to include it on a shortlist of priorities for the state legislative session in February.
“We are working on that as we speak,” Lujan Grisham said, adding that it’s part of an effort to turn New Mexico into a hydrogen fuel “hub.”
Like batteries, hydrogen fuel cells can store energy for cars and industrial equipment. Hydrogen requires lots of energy. The most common, energy source for hydrogen production is natural gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
A handful of student climate activists blocked hotel doors after the governor left the event singing “Whose side are you on?”