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By Paul Gessing
The US Census Bureau recently released what can only be described as some disturbing data regarding the future of New Mexico. Notably, while the Land of Enchantment's population grew by just 2.8 percent over the past decade, each of our neighbors saw double digit population growth with the exception of Oklahoma which still bested New Mexico with 5.5 percent growth.
That by itself should be a wake-up call for New Mexico's Legislature and Gov. Lujan Grisham, but a report put out by New Mexico's Legislative Finance Committee fleshes out some of New Mexico's impending demographic challenges and should further guide efforts to change course and make our State a destination for jobs and economic growth, not a failing state that is hemorrhaging young people.
The initial Census data made headlines due to New Mexico having the slowest population growth in the State's history, but there is much more interesting (and troubling) data found in a Legislative Finance Committee report called "State Population Trends" that was put out using the data. This article and analysis will present data included in the LFC report.
A few highlights:
IPANM (May 6, 2021) - This afternoon, the New Mexico Environment Department's filed a new Methane Rule targeting Ozone Precursors. The following statement has been released by Jim Winchester, Executive Director of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico:
"The Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico is reviewing the redrafted Methane Rule filed with the Environmental Improvement Board on Thursday afternoon. Based on IPANM's initial review of today's rule, we have serious concerns about language that eliminates almost all workable operating thresholds for marginal well oil & gas production in New Mexico.
"While we appreciate the administration's stated intention to have a collaborative, fact-based process, the rule proposed today does not offer a balanced approach. If passed, this rule threatens to put thousands of jobs at risk, prematurely plug or shut-in marginal wells, and inflect economic hardship on New Mexico with little to no gain to the environment.
"We strongly urge the Governor and the administration to reconsider marginal well provisions that have been taken out of this final draft. It's critical that the final rule be based on science and common sense, not just the emotions of radical environmental groups."
-- Jim Winchester
Executive Director, Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico (IPANM)
Albuquerque – The following is a statement from Larry Behrens, Western States Director for Power The Future about the new anti-energy rule proposed by the Lujan Grisham Administration:
“This proposal proves the Governor didn’t keep her word. The Governor promised to work with our energy workers, instead she puts forth a proposal that is a gift to radical environmentalists. Just like Joe Biden, the Governor is trying to hurt our energy workers by taking executive actions. This rule will close many wells that are still productive, raise costs and ultimately bankrupt many smaller producers, which is the goal of the environmental community.
"Apparently, the governor isn’t satisfied that gas prices are up more than 65 percent over the last year or that unemployment in New Mexico is at its highest in 30 years instead, she continues to appease her radical environmental supporters with this proposal.”
Albuquerque – One hundred days into the Biden Administration, and his anti-energy record is abundantly clear. On the first day he fired 11,000 workers by canceling the Keystone Pipeline project. Since then, he has targeted energy production on federal land in New Mexico and implemented a virtual ban on fracking. We see the results: New Mexico gas prices up over 60% since this same time last year.
After spending a good part of 2020 auditioning for a job in his cabinet, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is celebrating Biden's anti-energy decisions even as she leads her state to the 3rd highest unemployment in the nation. Both Biden and Lujan Grisham are recycling the broken promise of green jobs in the near future. Sadly, this isn't the first time New Mexico's families have been misled by this false promise.
In 2007, former Governor Bill Richardson told New Mexico we were on the cusp of massive green jobs saying, "New Mexico is hungry for clean energy and the good jobs that come with this new industry." In 2010, Richardson would leave office with New Mexico's 2nd-worst unemployment rate in nearly 30 years. The "honor" of worst employment rate since at least 1992 has now been surpassed by Michelle Lujan Grisham.
"New Mexico's families deserve better than recycled broken promises from Santa Fe and Washington," said Larry Behrens, Western States Director for Power The Future. "The policies of Joe Biden and Michelle Lujan Grisham are destroying jobs in New Mexico while raising the cost of living on our working families. Enough is enough."
After Killing Thousands Of Energy Jobs, President Biden Lays Out Wildly Unrealistic and Alarmingly Dishonest Climate Goals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 29, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night, President Joe Biden delivered his first address to Congress to mark his first 100 days in office and continued to push unrealistic and dishonest climate policies. Again, the president promised to achieve net zero electricity production by 2030, a goal that is not realistic and ignores the fact that renewable sources of energy also produce emissions. Last week, President Biden spoke with world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, at a virtual climate change summit to push its agenda for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and its unrealistic goal of cutting emissions 50 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2030.
"The first 100 days of the Biden Administration have been a gift to the radical left and a blow to America's fossil fuel workers," said Daniel Turner, Executive Director of Power the Future. "On day one, the President put 11,000 Americans out of work by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline. Since then he has essentially halted fracking, tried to choke off energy production on federal land, and presided over a 20 percent increase in gas prices. The climate goals that President Biden laid out last night are unrealistic, unachievable, and dishonest with the American people."
Immediately after President Biden was inaugurated, he assembled a climate change team including John Kerry and Gina McCarthy who feel mandated to disassemble a key component of the American economy during the middle of an economic calamity. President Biden immediately killed thousands of jobs with the stroke of his pen when he canceled the Keystone XL pipeline. The decision drew bipartisan condemnation.
By Paul Gessing
The following is a press release from our pro-energy friends at the Western Energy Alliance. We felt that it was worth reposting the information in its entirety.
DENVER – Interior Secretary Deb Haaland recently announced that out of $1.6 billion in deferred maintenance funding for public lands nationwide, New Mexico will receive only $6.8 million. The conservation funds come primarily from federal oil and natural gas royalties, as directed by the Great American Outdoors Act. New Mexico's share is paltry considering the state contributed $1.35 billion in royalties to the federal government and ranks first in oil production and second in natural gas on public lands. Contrast New Mexico's share to these states which provide next to no federal oil and natural gas royalties:
Virginia – $247.5 million
North Carolina – $153.8 million
New York – $50.5 million
Washington – $50.3 million
New Jersey – $28.3 million
Massachusetts – $25.4 million
Oregon – $12.5 million
Governor's Actions Wrong, Selfish and Hurt New Mexico
Albuquerque, April 13—In a stunning development, Republicans and Democrats statewide are in agreement over Gov. Lujan Grisham's latest power grab.
The Governor vetoed $1.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief earmarked by the legislature in the state budget to go to New Mexicans, businesses and various programs.
The Governor told lawmakers they have no voice.
By Paul Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation
If there were an overall theme for New Mexico's current political situation it would be the ongoing attempts by Democrats to placate their environmentalist base which opposes traditional energy sources while at the same time keeping energy dollars flowing into the State's coffers.
The Biden Administration's moratorium on oil and gas permitting is the most notable example of this conflict. Gov. Lujan Grisham has publicly spoken out about it, but Attorney General Balderas has refused to join a lawsuit challenging the policy that was recently filed by a dozen states. None of those states have as much to lose as does New Mexico, but our elected leaders are unlikely to challenge a President of their own party.
The internal conflict was on full display in the recently completed legislative session as well. Thankfully, the most radical bill on energy which would have banned "fracking," (an oil and gas drilling process without which New Mexico's oil and gas industry would be immediately decimated) failed without gaining traction.