Politicians won’t slow the industry but must eventually diversify funding, economist says

By Megan Gleason, Source NM
Oct. 6, 2022

The oil and gas industry is excelling in New Mexico, leading to significant money for the state and public education. But the industry operates in a boom-and-bust cycle, and education and environmental advocates say officials need to find ways to diversify this revenue so the state and its schools don’t suffer in bust years.

Oil and gas usually generates over $2 billion for the state, making up 25% to 30% of New Mexico’s General Fund, according to the Legislative Finance Committee. That’s where public schools pull most of their funding. Oil and gas money also flows to the Land Grant Permanent Fund, another source of public education revenue.

Public schools typically get over $1.4 billion from the industry, according to a 2021 New Mexico Oil and Gas Association report.

Higher education also benefits from these extractive industries, which generated over $262 million for institutions throughout the state in 2021, according to the report. UNM campuses alone received more than $100 million.

Read more at Source NM