New Mexico State Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, is planning to introduce legislation this session that would halt the issuance of new fracking permits in New Mexico. The proposed bill would stop any new permits from being issued for four years, while also requiring state agencies to study and report on the effects of the fracking process to the Governor and legislative bodies. This is the latest attempt to hamper the state’s largest and most successful private industry, but nothing new. This will be the third time a bill similar to this will be introduced in the legislative session, with last year’s effort being left off the call.
An analysis on the fiscal impacts of a bill like the one proposed by Sen. Sedillo Lopez estimated that it would cost the state $3.5 billion in lost revenue over the 4 year period. That’s a concerning figure when many businesses and families are struggling to make ends meet, especially in the energy producing southern half of the state where the bill would be felt most. This year’s 60 day session allows for lawmakers to bring their own legislation to Santa Fe for consideration, but as of this writing Senator Sedillo Lopez’s bill has not been filed. We do know that legislators will be informally restricted to 5 legislative proposals for the upcoming session. NMBC hopes that this shortsighted effort will be left out of the agenda in favor of more constructive bills that could revitalize NM’s economy, employment and revenue instead of further hampering our opportunities. Click HERE to read more.