An ongoing pause on federal oil and gas leases across the U.S. continued to be debated by New Mexico political leaders as supporters called the halt needed action to address climate change while opponents worried it could disrupt one New Mexico’s key economic drivers.
The suspension of any new oil and gas leases on federal land was enacted by the administration of President Joe Biden as he assumed office in January and was intended to allow the U.S. Interior Department to review it federal fossil fuels program to study extraction’s impact both on the environment and on local communities where such activities occur.
That could have a major impact In New Mexico in the interim as more than half of oil and gas operations in the state occur on federal land while the industry provides about 40 percent of the State’s budget.
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