Every Republican in the New Mexico legislature signed a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday raising alarm over the White House’s pause on and review of oil and gas leases on federal lands, which threatens to wreak economic havoc on the state.
“We cannot devastate our economy and our livelihoods by supporting a federal regulatory scheme that fails to recognize the importance of our state’s oil and gas industry,” lawmakers wrote, since 40 percent of the state budget comes from oil and gas production on federal land. Much of that revenue goes to fund the state’s schools, already ranked among the lowest in the country.
The letter from New Mexico’s 39 Republican legislators was written in response to another from 24 statehouse Democrats who lauded the president’s leasing pause on Tuesday, contradicting their own progressive Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who in March sought a waiver to the pause by the Interior Department.
Republicans wrote that Democrats offered no