“This bill is about ensuring a better future for kids,” James Jimenez said. “For years, New Mexico has relied on oil and gas to fund our children’s education programming. But as we battle climate change and protect our land and public health, it’s vital that states like New Mexico are able to diversify their economies.”
“Money and time are both barriers to families trying to make healthy food choices,” writes Derek Lin in his report Ending Childhood Food Insecurity. The report was commissioned by New Mexico Voices for Children, an advocacy nonprofit dedicated to addressing childhood hunger and well-being.
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.
“Defunct oil and gas producers have littered New Mexico with orphaned wells while taxpayers are forced to foot the bill to clean them up,” he said. “Those critical funds could be spent supporting our children and schools instead of cleaning up the mess oil and gas companies have left behind.”
“It’s encouraging to see that child wellbeing in New Mexico was improving before the pandemic hit,” said James Jimenez, executive director for New Mexico Voices for Children, which partners with the foundation. He’s cautiously optimistic that state policies “helped offset some of the health and financial problems caused by the pandemic.”
New Mexico traditionally has not done well in the Kids Count rankings, usually swapping the 49th and 50th spots with Mississippi. But Jimenez said there are some reasons for optimism as New Mexico looks to the future, including the expansion of Medicaid several years ago and a just-passed working families tax credit that could reduce child poverty.
“It’s encouraging to see that child well-being was improving before the pandemic hit,” said James Jimenez, executive director for New Mexico Voices for Children. “We’re cautiously optimistic that investments the state made in children and families beginning in 2019 – as well as throughout the pandemic – helped offset some of the health and financial problems caused by the pandemic."
New Mexico stuck with $8 billion in cleanup for oil wells, highlighting dangers from fossil fuel dependence
The state has long suffered from the roller coaster cycles of extractive industry, according to James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, a health, education, and economic advocacy organization. “We’ve made policy choices in boom times that have really exacerbated our over-dependence on oil and natural gas revenues,” Jimenez told DeSmog.
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.
“We must not allow the oil and gas industry’s outsized impact on our state budget and economy to be an excuse to ignore the detrimental effects of fossil fuel dependency on our climate, our air quality, and the health of our families,” Jimenez said. “The final OCC rule banning routine venting and flaring is a good start.”