It is a bleak picture these days when it comes to New Mexico’s economy. On day 1 of the legislative session, Sen. Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, the most powerful man in the Legislature, made it clear that he will be an implacable road block to reform. With an abject lack of economic freedom and education reforms, it is unlikely that New Mexico’s economic or educational performance will improve.
What is the good news out there? Not much. The best we can hope for involves the opening of vast new markets for New Mexico natural gas (we are one of the top producers of natural gas in the nation). Free trade in natural gas could be New Mexico’s ticket to economic growth. The experts agree, natural gas exports would be a boon for this country (and the state). Margo Thorning of the American Council for Capital Formation has a persuasive column as does energy expert Michael Economides who explains that Blocking LNG Exports Helps a Few but Hurts Many.
I asked Sen. Martin Heinrich about the issue and he sounds supportive, but the ball is ultimately in President Obama’s court. Our elected and business leaders need to get engaged and make the case against the unholy alliance of radical environmentalists and big business that wants to keep New Mexico’s clean natural gas out of international markets (and China reliant on coal).
With the implacable (and now angry) Sanchez in power, we can’t expect salvation from within.