Legislative Actions

Journal Editors Propose Oil Revenue Checks for New Mexicans

As New Mexico anticipates record oil production in 2022, and following state legislators voting to increase government spending by a billion dollars —a 14% increase in the state budget — the editors of The Albuquerque Journal are calling on state leaders to give some of that money back to the people of New Mexico.

“Our state’s permanent funds are also overflowing. The Land Grant Permanent Fund, Severance Tax Permanent Fund, Tobacco Settlement Permanent Fund, Water Trust Fund and other governmental investments, endowments and reserve funds managed by the State Investment Council were valued at $31 billion in 2021.”

 — ABQ Journal Editorial Board, March 20, 2022

“Here’s an idea: What about giving some of the windfall to the people of New Mexico in the form of dividends?”

Inflation is gutting family budgets. Gas prices are up 50% over last year and 65% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, the state is raking in millions, not only on record-high gas prices, but on oil production that is anticipated to surpass 500 million barrels this year. 

“A prolonged boom in the Permian Basin, where the shale oil revolution has raised state production by three-fold since 2016, has raised New Mexico to the second largest oil producer in the U.S., second only to Texas.”

As the Journal rightly points out, “Our state lands and the oil and natural gas beneath them belong to every New Mexican,” and every New Mexican should be the beneficiaries of our state’s resources.

While residents fled California for Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas, New Mexico was skipped over during the recent exodus. Our population barely moved in a decade, according to the latest census. And our post-COVID economic recovery ranked last in the nation.

Putting tax money back in the pockets of the people who make New Mexico New Mexico is only right.

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