New Mexico bet on the wrong horse: Biden’s new domestic energy ban to devastate state’s economy

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“Local leaders” in the Democrat-run, pro-Biden state of New Mexico are aghast over a 60-day moratorium on new oil/natural gas leases and drilling permits that’s been instituted by newly inaugurated President Joe Biden’s administration.

“[L]ocal leaders in communities that border the Permian Basin — one of the most productive regions in the U.S. — say any moves to make permanent the suspension would be economically devastating for the state,” the Associated Press reported Saturday.

One of the local leaders, Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway, was flummoxed by how much Biden’s rhetoric hasn’t matched his actions.

“During his inauguration, President Biden spoke about bringing our nation together. Eliminating drilling on public lands will cost thousands of New Mexicans their jobs and destroy what’s left of our state’s economy,” Janway told the AP.

“How does that bring us together? Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates that just hurt an already impoverished state.”

It’s not clear whether Janway voted for Biden. What’s known is that Biden won New Mexico 54.3 percent to 43.5 percent, though in fairness to the mayor, the majority of Carlsbad residents voted for former President Donald Trump.

(Source: The New York Times)

According to the Albuquerque Journal, immediately after Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, newly installed acting Secretary of Interior Scott la Vega instituted the moratorium, shocking not only local leaders but industry executives as well.

“The federal government’s 60-day suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits on public lands sent shockwaves through the industry in New Mexico and divided industry experts over potential impacts,” the Albuquerque Journal reported Friday.

Included among the shocked was Ryan Flynn, the president and CEO of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.

“It’s very much putting politics above science. If the goal is to combat climate change by reducing emissions, you’ve just frustrated that goal with this action,” he said to the Journal.

How so? Because, as reported by the Journal, “the order interrupts the development of infrastructure that connects new and existing wells to pipelines, forcing operators to flare methane emissions rather than recovering them.”

While it’s not clear how the association had felt about Biden prior to his inauguration, last year Flynn was bashed by the state’s GOP after he issued positive statements about then-New Mexico Rep. Rep. Xochitl Torres, a Democrat.

“The favorable comments about the New Mexico Democrat … drew harsh criticism in a column by state Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce and the Republican floor leaders in the Legislature, Rep. James Townsend of Artesia and Sen. Stuart Ingle of Portales,” the Journal reported at the time.

“In an interview Monday, Pearce, a former U.S. representative who worked in the oil industry, said flatly that the association should fire Flynn and hire someone else. He accused Flynn of falsely painting Torres Small as an ally of oil and gas, and trying to curry favor with people in power.”

Because of the moratorium, Flynn expects to see oil/gas producers look into relocating their operations elsewhere, possibly even overseas.

“Mexico is very important to a lot of these companies, but they also have other places they can invest. It’s clear that whoever is advising these approaches [by the Biden administration] isn’t thinking about what the unintended consequences will be for driving production away from the most responsible producer,” he told the Journal.

But couldn’t the same observation be made about the New Mexico voters who chose Biden, despite being warned multiple times beforehand that his ascendancy would lead to job losses and economic harm?

And not just New Mexico voters, in fact, but all American voters who chose Biden, including those affiliated with unions:

It’s a phenomenon that’s been playing out all across the states, from the Midwest to New Mexico and Utah as well.

In Utah, a Native American Indian tribe is particularly aggrieved over the Biden administration’s moratorium.

“Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation,” the Ute tribe wrote in a public letter to la Vega this week.

Look:

It’s once again unclear whether this particular group endorsed Biden last year, though according to reports the current president was viewed positively by “tribal leaders” across the country.

“The federal government may not have a stellar track record when it comes to keeping promises with Native Americans, but tribal leaders in Arizona said they think President-elect Joe Biden could be the exception,” PBS reported last month.

This dichotomy between so many Americans trusting Biden’s words/promises and now realizing the reality of Biden’s America has piqued the attention of Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of former President Donald Trump.

In a blunt, pithy tweet posted Saturday evening, he summed up his thoughts on it:

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Vivek Saxena

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