While we think of Social Security as “our” money, the fact is, most seniors receive much more in Social Security benefits than they actually paid in while working. The majority of the money in your Social Security check comes from other sources.
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.
While the oil and gas industry has brought a lot of money into New Mexico, it can also end up costing us money - lots of money. When wells no longer produce, they are abandoned. Responsible companies cap these old wells and clean up the surrounding area. But not all old wells are capped and cleaned - especially when the company has gone bankrupt. This gif-splainer lays out the problem and the solution.
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.
Pre-pandemic New Mexico saw a boom in oil and gas extraction, which was mirrored by an increase in state revenue. And while many state leaders opined that this boom was going to last indefinitely, the reality for the industry was far more grim. “In short,” the report states, “while New Mexico posted record oil and gas revenues, the oil and gas industry itself was reporting steep losses.”
The fact is the entire federal leasing system is dramatically outdated and in need of wholesale reform.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.
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.
New Mexico’s kids are getting short changed when it comes to funding for education and other important services. This gif-splainer breaks down why New Mexico is losing out on billions it could be using for an education moon shot.