As New Mexicans who are paying even the slightest attention to politics are aware, the Biden Administration has placed a moratorium on oil/gas permitting on federal lands. This will have enormous impacts on New Mexico, but as we recently noted, AG Balderas HAS NOT seen fit to sign New Mexico on to a lawsuit filed by 14 states against Biden’s moratorium.
But, Balderas DID see fit to file suit against the proposed Holtec nuclear storage facility outside of Carlsbad. Holtec’s facility would result in a $3 billion capital expenditure by the company to the region, and create up to 400 jobs between the site itself and manufacturing plant to build steel casks to hold the waste in storage.
Not surprisingly, despite his unwillingness to lift a finger to support oil and gas (not to mention New Mexico’s economy) against the Biden Administration’s existential threat, Balderas has claimed that the facility represents a “threat” to the region’s oil and gas industry.
It is far more likely that Balderas’ lawsuit is the result of NIMBY ideology than any concern about oil and gas. Alas, if he is successful, the result will be fewer jobs and a less diversified economy in Southeast New Mexico.