American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 69

Mexico's ongoing discussions has centered
on how the permanent funds, which primarily come from oil and gas, should be
utilized. That has been one of the major
political fights in the state for some time
and I assume it will continue-and intensify-if revenues continue to be depressed."
At a time in which many Democrats
across the country have backed anti-oiland-gas rhetoric and policies, the party
controls both chambers of the New Mexico
Legislature and the governor's mansion.
Fortunately, IPANM leadership assures,
the anti-industry absolutism has not been
able to overcome the reality of the industry's importance to the state. "We have a
good relationship with the governor and
some legislative leaders," Armstrong assesses. "Certainly, there are areas of disagreement, and IPANM has to remain
vigilant against voices that only want to
shut down the industry, even to the detriment of the state."
"The governor is very politically savvy,
engages with IPANM and has expressed
empathy for independents' struggles,"
Winchester describes. "At the same time,
the overriding movement continues to be
in the direction of overregulation that
will hurt the industry."
Along with the upcoming methane
rule, he notes, other regulatory initiatives
that threaten companies' bottom lines
include fee increases for applications for
permits to drill and new administrative
penalty provisions. "Although any single
one of them may not appear to be devastating, when they are combined, we worry
about death by a thousand cuts," he says.
Moreover, evidence suggests some of
the bipartisan support for oil and gas
may be eroding even in New Mexico.
Armstrong and Winchester note that the
spring's elections saw some pro-industry
lawmakers lose in the Democratic primaries, which they worry may fuel opportunism by fossil fuel opponents.
"We are increasingly frustrated that
fringe groups from outside the state
seem to look at this crisis as an opportunity to accelerate a transition off of
fossil fuels," Winchester describes. "That
is a major mistake. People still don't
understand how oil and gas funds one
out of every three teacher positions in
this state. Take this industry away and
New Mexico-which is already a very
poor state-will further suffer socially
and economically."
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020

American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 3
American Oil and Gas Reporter - July 2020 - 4
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