Bad for Climate Hysterics, Good for New Mexico

Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich claim that it “fails to bring clean energy jobs to our rural communities, ignores the impacts that extreme weather will have on our economy and our national security, and does not decrease our reliance on foreign oil.”

Ed Markey believes that it’s “an attack on science, on climate, on the clean energy revolution.”

And the Sierra Club wails that it will “only deepen our dependence on fuels that pollute our air, water and climate while making our kids sicker.”

The White House’s “Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which the chief executive says will spark “a new era in American energy and production and job creation,” has the eco-extremism lobby pitching a collective fit. But the measures the document includes — including suspension of major portions of the “Clean Power Plan,” the lifting of Barack Obama’s ban on coal-leasing activities on federal land, and nixing of the review of the “social cost” of carbon — are spectacularly good news for New Mexico.

Source: annual reports, New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

Coal-mining employment in the Land of Enchantment dropped by 24.2 percent between 2012 and 2015, and it’s a near-certainty that the numbers were down last year, too. The president’s policy reversal may not bring coal back to what it was before the era of fracking-driven cheap natural gas, but it will stanch the bleeding.

Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions

As for oil and gas in New Mexico, jobs in the sector tumbled by 17.9 percent between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the third quarter of 2016. A price uptick has employment looking up, but regulatory relief from Washington will surely help.

With stunning air-quality improvement in recent decades, and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions for the first six months of 2016 the lowest since 1991, the Obama administration’s regulatory assault on coal, oil, and natural gas was wholly unnecessary. Ignore the “green” crowd’s cartoonish hysteria. The White House’s pro-energy agenda is good news for a state that hasn’t had much to smile about for quite some time.