Language Icon

New Mexico In Depth: To create opportunities tomorrow, NM must embrace its strengths today

by Leland Gould

New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industry is growing again, which is welcomed news to lawmakers, communities, and all people across the land of enchantment.

Through challenges and changing times over the past two years, our dedication to New Mexico has been unwavering and we’re committed to doing our part to help New Mexico succeed. New Mexico’s oil and gas industry is proud to be the foundation of the state’s economy, providing thousands of jobs across our state and supporting the budget and public schools with billions in revenue. Teachers, students, first responders, and many others depend on our industry for critical resources to support learning, develop the next generation of leaders, and keep our communities healthy and safe.

Our state’s role as an energy producer and leader was underscored earlier this year by our ascension to the second-largest oil producer in the United States while remaining the eighth-largest producer of natural gas. This growth is creating unprecedented opportunities for the state of New Mexico with a record $5.3 billion in state and local revenue attributed to the industry last fiscal year, ensuring that New Mexico will have resources to recover, investments to make in our children, and opportunities to improve lives all over our state.

This fiscal and economic leadership goes hand in hand with environmental stewardship and protecting our natural resources. Climate change can and should be addressed, and producers around the state are constantly working to ensure that the oil and natural gas produced here is cleaner, safer, and more environmentally sound than anywhere else in the world. As global energy demand is projected to grow 50% by 2050, energy priorities must be focused on meeting these increasing energy needs more efficiently with lower emissions and lower carbon.

Economic growth in oil and natural gas and cleaner energy are not mutually exclusive. Meeting the growing energy needs of people worldwide requires leveraging the resources and capabilities we already have at our disposal. Coupled with advancements in technology and innovations, the future promises to usher in a new era of ever-cleaner energy for all of us. As New Mexico seeks opportunities to grow other sectors of the economy alongside oil and gas, we should take advantage of our existing resources, technical knowledge, and infrastructure to drive growth.

Read the full column here.