GOP legislators in New Mexico speak out against pause in state oil and gas leases



Republican legislators in New Mexico are trying to reason with state leaders who are implementing a pause on new oil and gas leaseson state land.

The plan was announced recently by the State Land Office which stated it would not open new leases on hundreds of acres of land.

Rep. Rod Montoya of San Juan is one of the Republicans who opposes the move.

“Not only are millions of dollars of lease revenues going to be lost due to the commissioner’s action, but she has opened the door to potential unintended consequences that could reduce future lease bids for these ‘best tracts’ which could have a negative effect on workers and local communities who depend upon oil and natural gas exploration for their economic well-being,” he said in a press release. reported KRQE, an Albuquerque-based TV station.

Montoya was referring to State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard who explained her move was needed because the state wasn’t getting enough money for its leases on some Permian Basin tracts. She took the steps when the legislature failed to increased the state’s  royalty rate.

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