New Mexico officials are investigating a methane cloud apparently released by oil and gas operations in the state’s Permian oil and gas fields, Bloomberg reports. The methane gas, first discovered by a high-resolution satellite, appears to have originated from an APA Corp. facility. The company and state officials say they were unaware of release or methane cloud before being contacted by Bloomberg, though APA admitted a flaring malfunction vented methane gas into the atmosphere in late December. Methane, the main component of so-called “natural gas,” traps more than 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than CO2 over a 20-year period and a growing volume of research shows EPA underestimates current levels of methane pollution. (Bloomberg $)