The fact is the entire federal leasing system is dramatically outdated and in need of wholesale reform. Look no further than BLM’s New Mexico sale in August to see why someone with no experience in oil and gas development – was able to snatch up a third of the leases offered for next to nothing.
The article’s revelations are at once shocking and not surprising, with lobbyists who have spent years fighting against regulations to reduce methane waste and pollution admitting the problem is real. And if you suspected the industry is more concerned about its image than protecting your health, you’re right. Its answer to out-of-control methane emissions? More image polishing and public relations advertising.
New Mexico’s 50th ranking in child well-being is the result of a decade of austerity due to choices lawmakers made during the last recession. In 2019 and early 2020, Lawmakers began to put the state on the right path for our kids. The pandemic and current recession do not need to derail us.
Over the past few months, the resiliency and strength of communities all across New Mexico have been in full view as people come together to support each other through the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the pandemic has caused disproportionate harm to communities of color, worsening disparities in health and economic well-being. Just as public policies entrenched systemic racism, they can be used to dismantle it.
During this public health emergency, New Mexico needs to do all it can to shore up essential services, take care of frontline workers, and extend a hand to New Mexicans who are sick, unable to work, or struggling to provide for their families. But falling tax revenue has put at risk New Mexico’s ability to protect our communities. While the path forward won’t be easy, lawmakers can steer us toward an equitable recovery by putting families first.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the brutal truth that the economic divide between the haves and have-nots – caused by centuries of discrimination and enshrined in unfettered capitalism – is not simply a quality-of-life matter. It is, in fact, a matter of life and death.
Even with social distancing, the coronavirus pandemic has made it clear how interconnected we all are – that the health of an entire community is dependent on the health of each of its members. For the community to be healthy, everyone must have access to health care, shelter, and nutritious food.
On Wednesday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham took the necessary step of declaring a state of emergency in New Mexico in order to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As the state moves forward with immediate activity to address the health implications of this global pandemic, we also urge lawmakers to consider enacting policies that will help mitigate its economic fallout for families and children in New Mexico.
How much income a family earns determines where they live, what access they have to schools, food, and health care, as well as the amount of stress they experience in making ends meet. Evidence shows that tax credits for working families are critical for not only putting money back into the hands of these consumers, but also for improving their health and well-being. New Mexico's Working Families Tax Credit brings these benefits to families and could do more if it were increased.
The past decade of austerity has been hard on New Mexico’s children. Still, we are optimistic about the future because we believe in the strength and resiliency of New Mexico’s families. We know we can build stronger communities and support more resilient families and children so that they can thrive. But we can only build a stronger New Mexico if our policymakers are willing to provide the revenue we need to make these investments.