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Federal infrastructure package addresses climate change in New Mexico

A federal infrastructure bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate could unlock federal funding to plug abandoned oil and gas wells, mitigate climate change and incentivize renewable energy. 

All those issues have strong implications for New Mexico, a state that relies heavily on fossil fuels as a national leader in the production of oil and gas which many feared was a major contributor to pollution and ultimately climate change.

The state’s two Democrat U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan pointed to additions to the package they said would help combat environmental impacts while assisting their home state to transition away from fossil fuels.

More:New Mexico Rep.: Oil and gas communities must be valued in energy transition

About a third of New Mexico’s budget was tied to oil and gas in recent years when production boomed in the Permian Basin in the southeast corner of the state, leaving some concerned the state could be susceptible to the industry’s boom-and-bust nature.