From the super-computing work at our national labs to the out-of-this-world flights from our spaceport, evidence is abundant that New Mexico can meet current and future challenges with transformative solutions. Our legislators need to tap into our state’s well of ingenuity and knowledge and figure out how to accelerate the diversification of our economy and state revenue sources. And they need to do it now – while the oil and gas industry is still with us.
The oil and gas industry is in decline – and has been for at least a decade – according to a new economic report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). This isn’t the fault of the coronavirus, but the pandemic has helped underscore some of the industry’s problems. The report gives new urgency for New Mexico to chart a new course for a more resilient, diversified economy, a more stable and equitable tax system, and a more prosperous future.
Pre-pandemic New Mexico saw a boom in oil and gas extraction, which was mirrored by an increase in state revenue. And while many state leaders opined that this boom – being different from previous booms – was going to last indefinitely, the reality for the industry was far more grim. “In short,” the report states, “while New Mexico posted record oil and gas revenues, the oil and gas industry itself was reporting steep losses.”
[James Jimenez and Oriana Sandoval]