Slowly rebounding gas and oil prices, coupled with news that major multinational energy companies have spent more than $13 billion in recent months on assets in the state’s oil and gas fields, brings some welcome economic news to our state.
Both hint at a revival in oil and gas production, which accounts for about one-third of the tax revenues New Mexico uses each year to pay for education, public safety and other government services.
At the moment, New Mexicans are acutely aware of the impact of the prolonged downturn in oil and gas production. On one hand, we’ve been paying a lot less at the gas pump over the past few years; on the other, the state is facing a financial crisis so severe that lawmakers and Gov. Susana Martinez are deadlocked over the coming fiscal year’s state budget that kicks in July 1.
Public schools, state-supported colleges and universities and state government workers are hamstrung trying to craft budgets for the coming year with no clue how much state funding they’ll receive.