Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, Gov. Martinez delivered her final State of the State speech to the legislature. During her speech, Gov. Martinez applauded New Mexico’s oil and gas industry repeatedly and mentioned our burgeoning tourism industry. In response, Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) Executive Director Demis Foster released the following statements.
“The oil and gas industry is pouring billions into new drilling projects in New Mexico. These investments remain critical to our undiversified economy, and it makes action to curtail methane waste and pollution that much more critical to ensure that our state reaps the full benefit of this boom,” says Demis Foster, CVNM Executive Director. “We can do better. New Mexico is now a top tier oil and gas producing state. We deserve a first class oil and gas regulatory system to match. Unfortunately, Governor Martinez and her administration doesn’t seem to understand this. She is proposing new permit requirements for oil and gas wells that would be some of the weakest in the nation. Her proposal would do nothing to clean up the San Juan Basin methane hot spot that is a national embarrassment. This growing reputation for oil and gas pollution threatens another strong and important part of our economy. Tourists choose New Mexico as a destination because of ample opportunities to experience ancient cultures within reach, our breathtaking views and unique public land. Our bustling and successful tourism industry — an industry that injected $6.1 billion into New Mexico’s economy and supported 89,000 jobs in 2014 — depends on our state being in its natural state. Given our dire economic situation, we should ensure success for as many industries as possible rather than picking winners and losers.
“This isn’t our first rodeo. New Mexicans know too well the oil and gas boom and bust cycle. We need strong, fair requirements across the board to make sure that New Mexicans, our air and our water are protected. Methane rules will create needed New Mexico jobs just like they have done in states like Colorado and Wyoming that have already stepped up to reduce oil and gas waste and pollution.”
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