Last week, National Association of Hispanic Publications Media (NAHP) Chairman Ricardo Hurtado sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland expressing his opposition to the Biden administration’s federal leasing ban.
Hurtado commended the President and Department of Interior for its efforts to combat climate change, and noted that federal leasing is actually BENEFICIAL to the environment. “As a result of the United States moving away from coal, our country has made the most progress of any major economy in reducing its carbon footprint, according to the United Nations Emissions Gap Report 2020,” he said. “President Biden’s federal leasing ban could reverse decades of environmental progress as national CO2 emissions in the power sector could increase by an average of 5.5% by 2030 if such a policy goes into effect.”
He also expressed his concern regarding the federal leasing ban’s negative impact on tax revenue will have on the public education system, specifically in New Mexico, which has both a large Hispanic population and a significant number of acres of federal land. “The oil and gas industry has provided New Mexico $1.37 billion dollars for public education, accounting for over one third of their education budget,” he said. “If this revenue is lost, it will have devastating effects on the students, teachers, curriculums, and Hispanic communities around the state.”
Like many concerned citizens in diverse communities across the country, the NAHP has asked President Biden and Secretary Haaland to reconsider the federal leasing ban.