SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is highlighting the oil industry's role in underwriting public education and soliciting its help in developing new state regulations for methane emissions.
The first-year Democratic Governor told an audience at the annual meeting of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association that her Cabinet secretaries for environmental and oilfield regulation are there to work for people in the energy sector.
Lujan Grisham outlined an all-of-the-above energy strategy and said her proposal for tuition-free public college is made possible by a booming oil sector.
New Mexico state government is increasingly reliant on surging income from the oil and natural gas sectors amid record-setting petroleum production in the Permian Basin that overlaps the southeast of the state and West Texas.
U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt cited a moratorium on new oil permits in New Mexico near a national park held sacred by Native Americans as an example of balanced federal regulation, while warning against Green New Deal policies.
Bernhardt also spoke at the conference; the Colorado native touted progress in speeding up processing times for drilling permit applications by the Bureau of Land Management, as well as an ongoing one-year moratorium on new federal drilling leases within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Permits near Chaco in northeastern New Mexico have been deferred while regulators prepare a new management plan for the region's resources.
Bernhardt told local oil-industry leaders that Green New Deal policies threaten their livelihoods and economic progress.