Land Commissioner Garcia Richard is right about one thing

While we disagree with New Mexico Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard about her effort to coerce the Legislature into raising taxes on the oil and gas industry which already funds most of New Mexico’s government, she is right about something. You see, unlike the Legislature which has seemingly been convinced that the industry is on the verge of a collapse, Garcia Richard apparently believes that oil and gas will continue long into the future.

After all, if the industry were somehow not sustainable, Garcia Richard would be looking for ways to offload oil and gas leases ASAP for whatever she might get, not hold onto them in the hopes of future, higher rates of return.  As the Albuquerque Journal noted recently, “Garcia Richard said it makes sense to her to temporarily forgo a few million dollars in exchange for billions more down the road.”

We have no idea when she expects the Legislature to raise royalties. All 112 members are up for election in November (and we happen to believe that the “progressives” have hit their “high water mark” for the time being. The election will likely determine whether a royalty rate increase will be likely in 2025 or not.

Regardless of what happens, we are pleased that New Mexico’s top elected Democrat with first hand knowledge or the oil and gas industry is so bullish on the industry’s future. Hopefully the 2025 Legislature will be more willing to make needed economic policy changes as well.

We know that oil and gas production in New Mexico and nationwide continues to grow.