Montezuma County Commissioners Defend Transfer of Federal Public Lands To States
- Montezuma County commissioners defend their support of the transfer of federal public lands to states.
The Montezuma County commissioners are defending their support of the transfer of federal public lands to states. In a post on the county website labeled “Commission Corner”, they say states could better manage public lands and would be able to turn a profit from mining, logging, grazing and other uses. They also address their involvement with the American Lands Council, which lobbies for the lands transfer, calling it an educational and research institution. They have not said publicly whether they will renew their $1,000-a-year membership in the council for a second year.
In other news, local environmental groups are praising the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to finalize regulations controlling methane emissions. In a joint press release, the San Juan Citizens Alliance, Western Environmental Law Center, and others say the new rules will improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gases. The rules require oil and gas companies to capture or prevent methane leaks from new or modified wells. In April, an EPA report said such leaks produce a third of all methane emitted in the country. The Four Corners region has been identified as a methane “hotspot”; however, the Farmington Daily-Times reports that energy development is not the sole cause. The Daily-Times says a geologist told the Four Corners Oil and Gas Conference on Thursday that coal bed outcrops on the perimeter of the San Juan Basin are major contributors to local methane pollution.