(The Center Square) – New Mexico's oil and gas industry is vital to the state's economy and working families, and would be one of the hardest hit states if a ban on federal leasing of public lands to the industry were to take effect, Robert McEntyre, director of communications at New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA), said.
"The oil and gas industry provides New Mexico with $3.1 billion in funding for our state budget and supports over 134,000 New Mexico jobs," McEntyre told The Center Square.
The industry accounts for 12% of the state's employment and 16% of the state's economy. Oil and gas jobs provided $7.6 billion in labor income for New Mexicans, accounting for 14% of income statewide. The industry supports one of every seven government jobs.
“The oil and natural gas industry supports jobs and local economies in every corner of our state, and this report underscores the employment ripple effect inherent in this industry when it is allowed to be successful,” NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn told KRWG. “New Mexico’s economic outlook and future generations depend on continuing policies that prioritize the development of our abundant energy resources, just as we have safely done for the past several years. The result is a stronger, more resilient New Mexico for everyone.”
The coronavirus pandemic has affected each sector and industry. The oil and gas industry has not been exempt.
"The industry has demonstrated strength and resilience over this challenging period, navigating an unprecedented decline in global demand amid a historic public health pandemic," McEntyre said. "Producers are accustomed to navigating challenges inherent in a fluctuating global commodity market and the industry will emerge stronger as we always have done."
NMOGA and the American Petroleum Institute recently issued a warning that New Mexico would lose more than 62,000 jobs by 2022 if the ban were put into place.
"The world and consumers will continue to need oil and natural gas products well into the future and producers in New Mexico are prepared to meet that demand while adhering to the most stringent health, safety, and environmental standards in the world," McEntyre said. "We’re confident that we can produce the oil and natural gas the world needs with a much smaller environmental footprint and lower emissions."