As per usual, Trump’s remarks were met with jeering from the liberal media, who noted that a Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won in New Mexico since 2004. And also as per usual, the media is completely missing the bigger picture — Trump knows that Republicans face a significant disadvantage during typical elections in New Mexico, but 2020 is no typical election for the states’ residents. Most of the Democratic Party’s candidates are campaigning on an extreme anti-energy platform that would shut down the oil and gas industry keeping New Mexico’s economy pumping.
Here are some quotes from President Trump’s speech that reveal his line of thinking:
[W]e have ended the last administration’s war on American energy. And since my election, natural gas production, big story today, in New Mexico has increased by 40%, four “O.” And that means, great wages and it means jobs and that’s why you’re breaking every single record in your state’s book.
Revenues from energy production provide up to 25% of your state’s budget and going much higher in the very near future and they’ve generated nearly a billion-dollar budget surplus in New Mexico…. Now, under the Green New Deal that all goes away, that all goes away.
[E]very major Democrat running for president, they want to abolish your production of oil and natural gas. In other words, the Democrats want to completely annihilate New Mexico’s economy. [Emphasis added]
President Trump is not exaggerating in the slightest when he says the major Democratic candidates want to ban energy production. Here’s where the top 5 Democratic candidates based on national polling stand on the use of hydraulic fracturing technology (fracking):
- Joe Biden: supports a fracking ban on federal lands.
- Elizabeth Warren: support a ban on fracking.
- Bernie Sanders: supports a ban on fracking.
- Pete Buttigieg: supports a ban on fracking.
- Kamala Harris: supports a ban on fracking.
The Democrats’ universal support for a fracking ban shows a clear blind spot in their political calculations. The oil and gas industry is New Mexico’s largest industry, and nearly all new production comes from fracking. In short, a fracking ban would be devastating to New Mexico’s economy. It is unwise to take residents’ votes for granted while making a direct case to the public that they should lose their jobs, as well as a critical state funding mechanism.
I reached out to Carla J. Sonntag, president and founder of the New Mexico Business Coalition, to hear her thoughts on 2020 Democrats’ calls to ban energy. Sonntag stated:
New Mexico’s economy is largely supported by oil and gas operations in our state. That industry provides over one-third of our state’s budget and produces the majority of our highest paying jobs. If a fracking ban were enacted into law, it would largely stop the oil and gas industry operations, cost our state thousands of high-paying jobs and crush our budget.
For those in New Mexico who understand the value of the oil and gas industry and the necessity of fracking, I don’t believe they would vote for a candidate who supports such a ban. This is especially true in Congressional District 2, which encompasses the New Mexico side of the Permian Basin.
While the media mocks President Trump’s claim that he will be competitive in New Mexico, it is clear that he understands the state’s economy much better than they do. If the Democratic Party’s 2020 candidates continue their aggressive push to shut down energy development in the Southwest, don’t be surprised when Trump takes the desert by storm.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore