New Mexico activists call for oil and gas reform amid Biden’s review

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Environmentalists from New Mexico’s major oil and gas regions called on the state to strengthen oil and gas regulations amid a pause on new leases of public land for fossil fuel development instituted by President Joe Biden’s administration.

During a Wednesday press conference with stakeholder groups from the Permian Basin in the southeast region and Chaco Canyon area to the northwest, advocates voiced support for the temporary halt on leasing and called for increased funding for oversight of oil and gas.

Multiple speakers in the meeting voiced concern that New Mexico’s state leadership could seek a waiver from federal climate change actions, as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and her cabinet recently wrote public letters to the Biden administration explaining the economic harm that could be brought on through a disruption of fossil fuel production.

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