Oil and gas production has skyrocketed over the past decade, but years of funding cuts under former Gov. Susana Martinez have left New Mexico’s energy and environmental agencies unable to guarantee industry operations take place safely and responsibly.
The state’s leaders can chart a new course by getting these agencies the resources they need to keep pace with industry’s growth, and protect the health, air and water of New Mexicans across the state. This will mean substantial budget increases to get these vital regulators back on their feet.
Since 2011, oil production has climbed 235% and the number of new wells drilled has increased 80%, yet recent reports make clear just how dire the situation is for the agencies that protect New Mexico’s natural resources and environmental health
Analysis from the Environmental Integrity Project found the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), responsible for protecting the state’s air and water resources, saw funding fall 27% from 2008 to 2018 and lost nearly 10% of its staff over that period.