FOX Business reported an op-ed discussing how Biden’s executive order barring oil and gas drilling on federal lands could threaten job opportunities and economic growth in New Mexico. According to the EIA, New Mexico has more than 5% of the nation’s natural gas reserves and is the nation’s third-largest oil producer as of 2018. The piece pulls insight from a number of energy executives who explain how Biden’s plan could be detrimental for New Mexico:
“Last week, Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, argued that President Biden’sorder to halt new drilling on federal lands will kill 58,700 jobs in eight states in the West, “where over 97% of the federal production is found.”
“We are going to start properly manage lands and waterways in ways that allow us to protect, preserve the full value that they provide for us for future generations,” President Biden said last week when he announced his executive order.”
In addition to killing jobs, tax revenues from state natural gas and oil production are at risk of plummeting. These tax revenues are critical to funding public education and infrastructure projects for the state. Speaking of the robbed opportunity for the state in a statement for the American Petroleum Institute (API), NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn said:
“Restricting oil and gas development on federal lands will rob New Mexico of opportunities for economic growth and hollow our schools of critical resources that put teachers in classrooms and help our young children learn. New Mexico has enjoyed economic success in recent years because of investments and responsible development on federally managed lands but changing course now will only ensure that jobs and capital stops at our state border. With vast stretches of public land, it is simply impossible to divorce our economic success from land management policy in western states like New Mexico and funding for education, access to healthcare, and new infrastructure are all on the line as a result.”
The piece points out that while Biden has alleged his Build Back Better Recovery Plan “is building a modern, resilient climate infrastructure and clean energy future that will create millions of good-paying union jobs” in recent remarks, it seems as though this is no longer the case with this newly-signed order. API estimates that by 2022, New Mexico could lose over 62,000 jobs as a result.