While families in New Mexico face rising gasoline prices at the pump, oil and natural gas companies are getting the deal of a century. Not only are they cashing in on higher prices, but they pay pennies on the dollar to lease our public lands for development and evade having to pay New Mexicans what we’re rightfully owed in royalties. All of this undercuts funding for our schools, and our children deserve better.
In homes across New Mexico, parents and caregivers have long been forced to make an impossible choice – one made even harder in the last 18 months by COVID-19. Do I care for my baby or sick family member, or do I leave them to work and earn the pay we need to survive? This choice has dire implications for babies, families, public health, and the economy.
When an oil well runs dry, the oil company is supposed to clean it up and cap it to make sure it doesn’t release dangerous pollutants into our air and water. But what happens when the oil company goes bankrupt? Do New Mexico’s taxpayers end up footing the bill? Find out more in this short video.
The physical and economic health of our states depends on fair and responsible management of publicly owned resources -- everything from our school buildings to our state and national parks. But because of the broken federal oil and gas leasing system, our schools have received less-than-promised funding and discarded oil wells are polluting our cherished public lands.
The health of our communities depends not just on the health of its residents, but on the health and stewardship of its air, water, and land. As organizations dedicated to protecting the health of New Mexico’s children and families, we appreciate Governor Lujan Grisham’s focus on public health as a guiding principle in her administration’s approach to a range of issues. However, the work is far from done.
Incremental improvements show us both that progress is possible and also that creating the nurturing environments our kids deserve and need to thrive will require bold and sustained actions and investments.
Part of the social contract for companies operating in New Mexico is the straightforward notion that they should clean up after themselves. That’s especially true for industries like oil and natural gas whose messes contain deadly pollutants.
How combining a just economic transition and strong climate action equals a safer, healthier and more equitable New Mexico
New Mexicans are already experiencing severe impacts of climate change – harming our health, air, land, water, and economy. The Climate Solutions Act (HB 9) would establish nation-leading carbon pollution reduction targets to benefit current and future generations while ensuring that all New Mexicans will benefit from the jobs and economic growth provided in a clean energy future.
While the extraction of oil and natural gas in New Mexico is mostly done on public lands, the state has less authority over the process than you might think. And while the industry puts a lot of money into our public schools, it could put a lot more money in if the state made the rules. Unfortunately, because much of the public land where drilling takes place here is actually federal land, we must rely on the federal government to set the rules.
Tuesday’s meeting of the Revenue Stabilization & Tax Policy Committee included a sobering reminder of the urgent need to find more stable revenue, but it also provided cause for hope – by reforming an unstable, inequitable tax structure, New Mexico can better serve the state’s children and future.