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Sun Jan 24, 2021, 08:11 AM

Biden's pause on oil cause for big concern in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s 60-day moratorium on new oil and natural gas leases and drilling permits is prompting widespread concerns in New Mexico, where spending on education and other public programs hinges on the industry’s success.

Top Republicans in the state as well as local leaders in communities that border the Permian Basin — one of the most productive regions in the U.S. — say any moves to make permanent the suspension would be economically devastating for the state. Half of New Mexico's production happens on federal land and amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties each year.

Congressional members from other western states also are raising concerns, saying the ripple effects of the moratorium will hurt small businesses already struggling because of the pandemic.

-snip-

The issue has been a thorny one for Democrats in New Mexico, where the oil and gas industry has been vilified over pollution concerns despite its role as the state's top economic driver. Aside from funneling revenues to the state's coffers, the industry supports about 100,000 direct and related jobs.

Read more: https://www.oaoa.com/news/state/bidens-pause-on-oil-cause-for-big-concern-in-new-mexico/article_d39dacaf-9d1a-53b9-ab60-a2a50de2c5b4.html
(Odessa American)

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