How Big Oil benefits from New Mexico officials lobbyist contract

When Joe Biden paused oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands earlier this year, the alarm bells rang in southeastern New Mexico.

Officials in Eddy County – which, along with neighboring Lea County, holds New Mexico’s share of the oil- and gas-rich Permian Basin – immediately worried about potential economic fallout.

“This news is exceptionally disappointing,” county manager Allen Davis wrote in an email to colleagues. “The message couldn’t be more clear: southeast New Mexico is not a business friendly for an industry that has sustained the state of New Mexico finances for decades [sic].”

A drilling rig operates near a pump jack in Eddy County.

Situated in the Chihuahuan desert of New Mexico’s staunchly Republican southeast region, Eddy County is a rural, industrial area, where the top employers are in the mining and oil and gas industries. And county leaders appeared to be depending on their influential allies, including the international lobbying firm FTI Consulting, to keep it that way.

Carlsbad and Eddy County paid $50,000 for consulting firm services