New Mexico Oil Boom a Political Hot Potato.
The southeastern section of New Mexico is experiencing a mini oil boom of sorts. The gushers are coming in on a regular basis in this Republican-dominated enclave of wildcatters. But there’s a problem brewing up in Santa Fe, the state capital, where last year the Democrat-dominated legislatures drew up a program of bills dubbed “The Mini-Me Green New Deal” that will require the state to draw all its electricity from renewable energy, not fossil fuels, within the next quarter century, and is proposing hefty hikes in oil royalties — as well as a complete ban on hydraulic fracking. Down near the Texas border, where the oil actually comes from, this doesn’t sit well with hardly anyone, whether they’re in the oil business or not.
New Mexico is now the third largest oil-producing state in the country, and the state budget for 2019 expects to see a surplus for the first time in nearly half a century — nearly 2.5 billion dollars.
Governor Michelle L. Grisham, a Democrat, wants to use that bonanza to offer free tuition to any in-state college for all residents. This has got Republican sections of New Mexico up in arms, as they charge the Democrats with building a welfare state from the money that the oil wells are providing.
The only way this war of words and ideals can change is if the Republican retake the legislature this coming year.