State Loses Out on Billions in Revenue that Could Go to Our Classrooms

MEDIA STATEMENT
February 25, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children
505-361-1288 (direct), 505-401-8709 (c), skayne@nmvoices.org
OR: Marie-Pier Frigon, Communications Associate, mfrigon@nmvoices.org   

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding the bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) – the Fair Return for Public Lands Act of 2020 – to update the royalties and rental rates, and minimum lease bids, charged to oil and natural gas companies for resources extracted from federal lands:

“We applaud Senator Tom Udall’s sponsorship of this bipartisan bill. The royalty and rental rates, as well as minimum bids, charged by the Bureau of Land Management on oil and gas extraction are woefully outdated – some haven’t been increased in a century. New Mexico, which gets a share of this revenue, has lost out on at least $2.5 billion over the past ten years, according to one estimate. That’s money that should have been invested in our classrooms.

“New Mexico can only set the royalty and rental rates on oil and gas that’s extracted from state lands, so we’re dependent on Washington to ensure that we’re getting fair market value for the natural resources on federal lands that belong to all of us. We encourage the rest of our congressional delegation to join Sen. Udall in this important fight.”

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New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities.
625 Silver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org