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Leger Fernández Convenes New Mexico Leaders and Experts to Discuss Energy Transition and State Budget Reliance of Oil and Gas Taxes

May 28, 2021


WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández met virtually with New Mexico leaders and energy experts to get feedback on legislation she’s currently working on to help states transition away from dependence on taxes and royalties from oil and gas. 

The virtual meeting included Secretary Debie Romero, New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration; Leo Delgado, Chief Economist for the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration; Tarin Nix, Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs, New Mexico State Land Office; and representatives from The Wilderness Society, Center for American Progress, among others. 

“As we move away from fossil fuel production and to clean energy, we must ensure that the communities that have fueled our economy for decades are not left behind,” said Leger Fernández. “That means exploring innovative ways to ensure that states that rely on oil and gas revenue for their education budgets, like New Mexico, have replacement revenues and, in addition, the resources they need to diversify their economies and tax base. We gathered those who know firsthand what is needed to share their advice and wisdom on a forward looking plan to be ready for that transition. As I draft my legislation, I will continue to seek feedback from state leaders, energy transition experts, and the impacted New Mexico communities I represent.”

In March, Leger Fernández sent a letter to President Biden highlighting New Mexico’s fossil fuel reliance and urging the Administration to be “bold in thinking about how to help replace state tax revenue since this is a national priority that will have uneven impact on states like New Mexico.” 

“The Wilderness Society was very pleased to participate in this important dialogue around ways to stabilize state budgets that rely on revenues from federal oil and gas leasing as we move to a greener, fairer energy economy. We are at a turning point in our nation’s energy future, and we applaud Rep. Leger Fernández for exploring big and bold ideas to ensure that New Mexico and other revenue-dependent states can urgently move away from volatile boom-and-bust economies in ways that keep their communities and families whole,” said Lydia Weiss, Government Relations Director at The Wilderness Society. 

“The energy transition is happening now, and it is critical to the future of fossil fuel dependent communities that they can extricate their budgets from an unpredictable and unsustainable industry in order to have stable and predictable revenues to build back better. There is an opportunity right now - to bolster budgets, diversify the revenue base, and work towards climate goals. We look forward to working with Rep. Leger Fernández as she tackles this critical issue and offers solutions that ensure no communities are left behind and the transition economy works for everyone,” said Jenny Rowland, Deputy Director, Public Lands for the Center for American Progress.