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Pump jack and flare operating in the San Juan Basin, Eddy County, New Mexico. (Image: Blake Thornberry via Flickr)

New Mexico land commissioner opposes flaring rules

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn isn’t a fan of the Obama administration’s plan to clamp down on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public land.

Dunn announced Thursday that his office has submitted comments in opposition of the proposed venting and flaring regulations.

Dunn says a committee was formed in New Mexico last year to study flaring reductions and assess the feasibility of capturing gas for new drilling permits.

One of the findings was the amount of time required to obtain federal rights of way from the Bureau of Land Management contributed to flaring on federal lands.

Dunn argues it’s hypocritical for BLM to fault producers and impose costly new rules when the agency’s own actions have been responsible for a large part of the problem.

Related: Texas, New Mexico oil producers push for import limits

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