By Alexis Johnson
Guest columnist 

Opinion: Oil and gas moratorium hurts NM

 

Last updated 1/30/2021 at 2:15pm



Joe Biden’s 60-day moratorium on oil and gas leases and permits on federal lands puts him on track to take jobs and money from New Mexico at a time of crisis.

There is no gray area in New Mexico for wanting to protect the environment and wanting the benefits of a world with energy. By banning oil and gas leases on federal lands, Biden is not uniting. He is effectively promoting the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars per year if he decides to continue with shutting down the oil and gas industry in New Mexico after his 60-day plan.

Many New Mexicans think that the politicians know best. All New Mexicans should want to have clean air, water, and land as we all love our beautiful, querido New Mexico.

We all enjoy driving our cars and having our food transported to the grocery stores. We know the vaccine that many have taken has to be stored at very cold temperatures and this is done with oil and gas products to keep the refrigeration sufficiently cold.

There has been a constant demonizing of oil and gas in New Mexico even though the revenue supplied from the oil and gas industry has funded our children’s education, hospitals, and provides high-paying jobs. Are our government leaders looking out for the everyday New Mexican? Or are they repeating the war cry of a Santa Fe cohort that demonizes oil and gas as they fly down the ski slopes in their oil and gas made skis?


See, the oil and gas industry is not only the gasoline you fill up at the pump. From the website, “Facts about Canada’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry,” you see contact lenses, hearing aids, safety gear, cleansers, fuels, medicines, electronics, home furnishings, etc., are all made from oil and gas.

It is time for New Mexicans to seek out the truth and to stop demonizing the oil and gas industry. We need to start working together irrespective of party to come up with solutions to respect our environment and be able to utilize the products from the oil and gas industry to keep us safe, happy, and healthy.

As I said in the “Financial Times of London” before Biden’s election, “If they can’t find work they’ll go elsewhere.” Companies will no longer do business in New Mexico but will move to Texas where they can operate.

No matter how much Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to “diversify” our economy, no cannabis or other industry is going to bring in the millions of dollars per year that our oil and gas industry does. From the American Petroleum Institute’s analysis in September entitled, “The Consequences of a Leasing and Development Ban on Federal Lands and Waters,” the ban would threaten 62,000 jobs and $1 billion in state revenue.

In addition, the analysis displays that we will have an increase in payments to foreign countries for oil and gas. New Mexican livelihoods should stop being played upon by the politics outside of New Mexico. We need leaders that compromise and work together for the betterment not only of our environment but the current and future state of the families of New Mexico.

Alexis Johnson is a former U.S. Rep. candidate for New Mexico’s District 3. Contact her:

[email protected]

 
 

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