The Department of Interior held a virtual public forum on the federal oil and gas program Thursday. You can view this program at https://www.doi.gov/events.
Several panelists delivered excellent presentations in support of the oil and gas industry. Nicole Borromeo, executive vice president and general counsel with the Alaska Federation of Natives, said she believed in a balanced energy policy that looks out for the environment but also takes advantage of the large amount of oil and gas reserves in Alaska.
“No energy sector does more for Alaska’s economy than oil and gas,” she observed. “We do not operate in an either or space when it comes to energy policy. We refuse to be caught between the extraction industry and environmental conservation groups.”
She pointed out that many Alaskan native corporations are adjacent to federal land. Several speakers expressed their concern that restrictions on drilling on federal land would be harmful to the economy.
“These decisions have an outside impact on natives with respect to oil and gas. We need to develop those opportunities instead of being penalized,” she said.
Frank Macchiarola,, with the American Petroleum Institute, listed the benefits that oil and natural gas leasing on federal lands provide to the public. He said that the oil and gas industry is essential to America’s post pandemic recovery and concluded that policies aimed at slowing or stopping production will only prove harmful to our national security. Ending drilling on federal land would cost millions of jobs and result in millions of barrels of oil being imported into the United States, he noted.
Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Union, said that “transition” plans discussing moving jobs away from the oil and gas industry don’t fairly consider salary level and “asking people to take a 50 percent pay cut” would result in an inability to feed families.
We have also been told that the Department of Interior will be contacting local communities as part of this outreach effort. We certainly look forward to participating in this discussion. Members of the public can submit additional information to email@example.com through April 15.
Our U.S. Representative, Yvette Herrell, held a roundtable discussion Thursday at the Artesia Chamber of Commerce. Fellow Representatives Pete Stauber (Minnesota), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.) and Ronny Jackson (Texas) all joined Herrell in discussing the importance of energy independence.
“I think it’s really important how people in New Mexico need to know, especially people in urban areas, they need to know how important oil and gas is to their livelihood,” said Jackson.
Thank you to Rep. Herrell for bringing these representatives to Eddy County to allow them to see everything going on here for themselves. Please continue to fight for New Mexico’s jobs and economy.
From the office of Mayor Dale Janway