At an oil and gas conference in Santa Fe last week, a group of government lawmakers expressed sympathy for fossil fuels, but said New Mexico’s political landscape was changing and the industry needed to adapt.
A clear indication of that change was the State Representative Patti Lundestrom, Di-Gallup and Kelly Fajardo, Ar-Los Lunas, giving action advice.
Both women stressed the need for short and consistent questions for lawmakers and colleagues who do not have time to respond to questions and concerns.
The state has a long history of failing to pay its often-limited legislators. What is different is that it is a highly respected industry because of the huge revenue it needs to improve its current state.
“no way. I say, yes, ”Lundestrom said of the trend in a telephone interview.
Many new legislators are young, more sensitive to climate change and more informed about it, which means they are asking tough questions, Lundstrom said. They refuse to say, “Yes.” ”
Climate change prolongs drought, low river flows, and growth seasons, prompting local advocates to push environmentalists to prioritize the election of political leaders, reflecting the region’s unusual territory.
Industry officials believe it is necessary to stop the release of methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – and other toxic chemicals. They also agree that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is inevitable, but they believe that change should take place gradually, over many years or even decades.
Oil and gas will remain in high demand in the future and will continue to be an integral part of New Mexico’s economy as the industry works to keep pace with climate change, said New Gold, interim executive director of New Mexico Oil and Gas. Association.
“There is no doubt that the future of our industry is low carbon and low emissions,” Gold said. But I know that our members in New Mexico will play a big role in meeting the growing needs of the world and will continue to lower emissions.
According to an environmental activist, conservationists are working hard to protect the current climate and public health.
“I think there is a time when these climate and fresh air issues are at the forefront,” said John Goldstein, State Policy Director of the Environmental Fund. The severity of these problems has much to do with public awareness.
Regulation and product increase
Regional, federal, and international reports on the impact of climate change are alarming. The consensus among climate scientists is that greenhouse gases that retain heat in the atmosphere must be cut off to avoid the worst effects.
Bad forecasts have prompted environmentalists, such as the government, to impose financial support for renewable energy systems, incentives to switch to electric vehicles, and to impose stricter rules on oil and gas operations.
At the state and federal levels, new legislators support everything from the Green New Deal to Anti-Frank Accounts to carbon cuts.
Democrat Gov. Michel Lujan Grisham A.D. By 2030, the state has issued an executive order calling for a 45 percent cut in greenhouse gases.
In March, the state passed methane regulations to limit natural gas emissions. Operators must have 98% methane by the end of 2026.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Environment is introducing new regulations for the fossil fuels industry to block toxic gases in the ground-level ozone. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce tough methane regulations in the coming weeks.
Over the past two decades, the industry has been constantly confronted with new rules, and this is the latest.
The association has worked with state regulators to reduce methane and ozone emissions, but said they are not too severe. At the same time, the group is working to grow the industry, bringing in about $ 2.8 billion a year in the state budget.
“I believe New Mexico has the potential to do both,” Gold said. “He is one or the other.”
Many of the association’s oil and gas producers have outlined plans to reduce carbon emissions and develop new technologies that are more efficient and less polluting.
He said the people should know that petroleum production is cleaner and healthier than the environment. And growth continues there every day.
Five years ago, during a recession, New Mexico’s oil production fell to 150 million barrels a year and returned more than 370 million – the second-highest in the state after Texas, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
“The remarkable growth we saw at that time led to an unprecedented economic expansion for the state,” said Robert Mcenre, a spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. We think it is something we should use when we enter the future of low carbon.
Under Republican Gov. Susanna Martinez, who cut budgets and staffing regulatory agencies, the industry has gained more relaxed control.
Is the industry waiting for the next Republican governor, Lujan Grisham, to return to stricter rules?
McEntyre said that was not the plan.
He said the group has worked with both political parties throughout its history to establish rational and flexible rules.
However, he said he did not agree with some extremist tactics and the rhetoric used by some groups to influence policy. In New Mexico, it was difficult to reach a consensus with those who had a policy of depleting oil and natural gas.
Goldstein said it would be easier to dismiss activists as extremists in order to make stricter rules and move faster than the industry.
“When you draw with such a wide brush, you make a lot of difference,” says Goldstein.
Long, slow transition
At last week’s conference, Republican Member of the Senate Steven Neville said Aztec, the United States, has more than 270 million vehicles and almost all use traditional fuel.
“I do not see the oil and gas industry going down in the next 10 years,” said Neville. Some of our local friends in the Legislature are trying to make this point. That will not happen. Those cars and trucks and the like will last longer than 10 years.
A Saudi study says oil demand will increase in the next 15 years.
An expert says the number of gas-powered vehicles is creating a healthy short-term outlook with the state record production and rising fuel prices.
“In the short term, things seem to be going well for the industry,” says Jim Pitch, a professor of economics at New Mexico State University.
But major manufacturers such as GM, Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota are stepping up production of electric cars, Pitch said. In a few years, that will affect interest.
Pitch said it is not surprising that some industry leaders have complained about strict regulations and are feeling threatened.
Twenty years ago, he said, the state began to force operators to prevent sewage from seeping into the ground. Some operators threatened to move to Texas, but said they did not want to.
State Sen. George Moose, De-Gallup, more liberal, forward-thinking Democrats have stopped some radical old guards. These young activists are satisfied with environmental stewardship, which is good until they see the costs.
“I think it has changed dramatically,” said Moose, who sat on the convention panel. “I want to leave the world in a better place. I agree with many of them, that when it comes to collecting, it will be the case.
These legislators need to take action and consider how New Mexico still examines oil and gas revenues and federal funding. He pointed out that a long-term plan is needed to partially eradicate such an embedded industry.
Lundstrom said much of the focus was on oil and gas when discussing power transfers, but that the entire supply chain would have to change if the state switched to another power source.
For example, hydrogen-powered cars require completely different engines and infrastructure, and workers need new sets of skills to repair them.
Lujan Grisham also spoke at an oil and gas conference on how to skip the production of hydrogen fuel, which produces less carbon dioxide than fossil fuels. For executives, the point of sale is natural gas – which they can supply – used to separate hydrogen from water.
In an interview, Gold said he should know more about the details of the plan, but thinks natural gas is the most efficient way to produce hydrogen.
Environmentalists oppose this method because it emits more methane than natural gas for heating. They also generate hydrogen oxide, which is used to run turbines on electric plants.
Camila Feibelman, director of the Sierra Grande chapter of the Sierra Club, said this would only provide a way to save the industry’s infrastructure as the world shifts its focus to renewable energy.
“It is not [about] It’s getting a little better. ” “This is to save the future of our children.
Gold points out that he sees hydrogen as a supplement rather than a fuel. Again, he said it should not be one or the other.
Pitch said the industry does not deny huge subsidies in government coffers, but noted that an increasing number of people want to lose confidence in these states, which are linked to a volatile market. Instead, they want more stable sources of income, which can be developed by developing the economy.
According to Lundstrom, it is still Herculean’s responsibility to liberate the region from oil dependence, and it must be done gradually over the long term to prevent the displacement of workers.
She said it was easy to support a non-industrialist in Albuquerque or Santa Fe.
Lundestrom said: “If you are working in those oil fields and you are supporting your family and suddenly those [jobs] Go – what will happen? ”