Pearce: BLM attack on New Mexico must be stopped

Feb 13, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy

By Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM-02)

New Mexico is home to some of our nation’s richest and most promising natural resource deposits. From rare earth minerals to natural gas and oil, the state has the opportunity to put the United States on the map as the world’s leader in safe, reliable mineral production.

Unfortunately, after years of the government layering on red tape, many of these industries no longer exist. This doesn’t just hamper our country’s ability to compete and provide for itself – it hampers and kills everything from job growth and economic production to school modernization and critical infrastructure projects.

In New Mexico, roughly 40 percent of the state’s operating funds come from the revenue off of oil and gas production. This does not risk the New Mexican beauty we hold dear and it does not threaten the safety of the air we breathe or the water we drink. Our state can be economically successful while also protecting our citizens.

Sadly, this was not the view of some, and it was not the view of the Obama administration. During the last few months of his time in office, President Obama attempted to crush job growth in New Mexico and cripple our nation’s reliability on domestic energy production through a regulation known as the Bureau of Land Management Methane Venting and Flaring Rule.

This regulation directly impacted New Mexico and was done for no other reason than believing oil and gas production cannot, and should not, be done in the United States anymore.

We know this based on one thing: BLM has no actual regulatory authority to enforce the Venting and Flaring Rule. Statutory authority to regulate air quality is solely vested with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read the full Op-Ed here.