Las Vegas, New Mexico (April 8, 2014) At today’s San Miguel County Commission meeting , commissioners voted 3 to 2 to extend the existing moratorium on oil and natural gas development for six more months. The two commissioners voting against the motion sought a two year moratorium.
Steve Henke visits with Larry Ahrens on The Morning Brew about the oil and natural gas industry. They discuss the producing areas of New Mexico as well as the impact the industry has on the entire state including education funding for Albuquerque Public Schools and University of New Mexico.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Emily Hytha
Washington, D.C. (March 3, 2014) – Friday evening, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) quietly signed the Range-wide Oil and Gas Industry Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (CCAA), along with an accompanying environmental assessment. This agreement between USFWS, WAFWA, and the five range states allows private landowners who develop oil and gas on their lands to voluntarily enroll into the CCAA. Upon entering the CCAA, participants will pay mitigation fees when they perform certain actions that impact the lesser prairie-chicken or its habitat. These fees will then be used for conservation purposes.
Western Caucus Chairman Steve Pearce and Western Caucus Member Randy Neugebauer responded to the announcement with the following statements:
“I want to commend FWS for working with the five range states to approve the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Oil and Gas CCAA,” said Chairman Steve Pearce. “This decision will provide certainty for private landowners as they continue to exercise their rights to develop the resources on their lands. Listing the lesser prairie-chicken as endangered threatens the economic stability of our communities. Fortunately, conservation and development are not mutually exclusive goals. FWS must continue to work with the five range states to fully implement the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-Wide Conservation strategy, which they endorsed last October. This plan added over 1.5 million acres of habitat to millions of acres already enrolled through other FWS approved conservation programs. Energy, agriculture and other industries have proven that they will put in the effort to ensure that the species will survive, and preclude the need for an endangered or threatened listing. I look forward to working with FWS, WAFWA, the range states, and my colleagues in Washington to save the lesser prairie-chicken and the jobs our communities so desperately need.”
“I’m really pleased the Fish and Wildlife Service heeded our request to finalize the Range-wide Oil and Gas Industry Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken,” added Congressman Neugebauer. “This is an important step toward giving the range-wide conservation plan a chance to succeed, preventing a costly and unnecessary listing. Farmers, ranchers, energy companies, and landowners can work together with state wildlife agencies to preserve habitat and protect the Lesser Prairie Chicken, without federal intervention.”
WPX Energy has released a series of videos about their operations. “Protecting An Enchanted Land” highlights the great beauty of northwest New Mexico and the focus WPX Energy brings to protecting the environment.
Learn more about WPX Energy and their commitment to the environment at http://www.wpxenergy.com/environment.aspx
State Land Commissioner Urges Lessees to Participate in Voluntary Program to Protect Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat
Commissioner Powell signed a conservation agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Center of Excellence for Hazardous Material Management (CEHMM) in March of 2012. The agreement represents the largest such accord in the nation – for more than 247,000 acres of trust land statewide.
“This agreement was the result of the collaborative efforts of the oil and gas industry, the agricultural community, environmental groups, the State Land Office and our federal partners,” said Commissioner Powell. “I encourage all leaseholders and operators in the area to enroll in this voluntary program to protect this important species before the listing decision is made this March.”
“It is very important for our lessees to know that if they do not sign their own CCAAs with CEHMM, before a listing decision for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken is made, that their business operations may be significantly impacted if the species is listed under the Endangered Species Act,” said Powell. “If the Lesser Prairie-Chicken is listed, lessees that have enrolled in the CCAA will not be faced with delays that non-enrolled lessees are likely to face due to the USFWS consultation process.”
The USFWS is expected to make a decision about whether or not to list the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a threatened or endangered species by March 31, 2014. Should the Lesser Prairie-Chicken be listed, oil and gas development and agricultural operations in the habitat area could be delayed by the required USFWS consultation process unless the operators participate in CCAA program.
The CCAA agreement is available at the State Land Office website www.nmstatelands.org. Also available are a habitat map and other information concerning the agreement that may be of interest. Additional information may be found at CEHMM’s website at: www.cehmm.org.
Operators and ranchers that agree to conduct certain conservation measures are provided regulatory assurances concerning USFWS land use restrictions that might otherwise apply should the Lesser Prairie-Chicken become listed as a threatened or endangered species. Conservation measures in the agreement include activities such as minimizing surface disturbances and avoiding habitat.
For more information, contact the State Land Office:
Assistant Commissioner – Mineral Resources Division
New Mexico State Land Office
PO Box 1148
Santa Fe, NM 87504
505-827-4489 – phone
The New Mexico State Land Commissioner is an elected state official responsible for administering the state’s land grant trust. Thirteen million acres of land were granted to New Mexico in 1898 and 1910. Each tract is held in trust for the public schools, universities, and hospitals. During the past three years, state trust lands produced more than $1.7 billion in income for the beneficiaries, which saves the average household about $850 a year in taxes.
We, the undersigned, are opposed to the proposed 500,000 acre National Monument, because it would negatively impact: (a) border security and other law enforcement missions, (b) the maintenance of existing flood control dams and the construction of new dams, (c) 41 ranches, including some which have been in the same family for over 100 years, and (d) economic development.
We join the following organizations in opposing the proposed National Monument: Greater Las Chamber of Commerce, Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Dona Ana County Sheriff, Dona Ana County Farm Bureau, Dona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District, Village of Hatch, Elephant Butte Irrigation District, Western Heritage Alliance, Mesilla Valley Sportsmans Alliance, National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, Southwestern Border Sheriffs Coalition, Southwestern Couty Commission Alliance, Council of Border Conservation Districts and many other local and state organizations too numerous to list here.
Additional support for offices in Carlsbad, Farmington and others has helped speed permitting and environmental reviews
February 6, 2014
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) wrote to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, seeking to reauthorize a successful pilot program that has helped the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) improve efficiency and balance complex demands, including oil and gas permitting and environmental conservation, in New Mexico and other parts of the West.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created the pilot program to improve the federal mineral development permit process and help ensure local BLM offices had needed resources. Under the existing program, the Secretary of the Interior may allocate a portion of rental fees paid by producers to seven specific BLM offices, which can be reinvested to hire additional staff or resources to help improve efficiency and support work on the BLM’s diverse responsibilities, such as processing mineral leasing permits and wildlife and range conservation.
Read and Download the Letter Below
FARMINGTON — Farmington City Council on Tuesday amended and unanimously approved a resolution supporting the oil and gas industry, but Mayor Tommy Roberts said a clause included in the document is problematic.
The resolution supports proposed state legislation that would cut oil and gas drilling royalties to cities and counties that pass laws or regulations banning or “severely” restricting the industry.
Those oil and gas royalties are severance tax bond proceeds. New Mexico collects taxes on oil, gas and other natural resources extracted from the earth. These are called “severance taxes,” and they repay severance tax bonds, which are issued for state-wide projects.
A copy of the Resolution is shown Below
A recently released study by the New Mexico Tax Research Institute, entitled Fiscal Impacts of Oil and Natural Gas Production in New Mexico calculates that 31.5% of fiscal year General Fund revenues are attributed to oil and gas. The study also calculates the amount of education funding related to these oil and gas revenues for each New Mexico county by school district and higher education institution. The full study can be found at www.nmtri.org.
A group of pro-business and pro-energy groups will be joining NMOGA in sponsoring a screening of the movie, FrackNation. The showing will occur Monday, December 2, 2013 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1000 Woodward Pl. NE, Albuquerque, NM from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
Come and learn about the benefits of hydraulic fracturing and what this process means for the energy future of our county. A suggested donation of $5 will support the activities of our co-sponsors. Please let your friends, family and colleagues in the Albuquerque area know about this great event. Yes, there will be popcorn!