Back in September, I wrote about Donald Trump’s plan to win the state of New Mexico — something no Republican presidential candidate has done since 2004. The president’s strategy focuses on Democrats’ opposition to oil and gas development, which is the driving force of New Mexico’s economy. A new report out from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute (GEI) shows why this strategy has merit.
At a campaign rally in New Mexico, Trump said, “[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.”
He’s not exaggerating: All of the candidates who have qualified for the December debate either support an outright fracking ban or other regulations that would decimate the industry.
The GEI report spells out in detail the harm that this would inflict on residents in New Mexico:
This analysis shows that a ban on hydraulic fracturing in New Mexico would result in the loss of 142,000 jobs – representing 15.8 percent of the state workforce – and wipe out $86 billion in cumulative GDP from the state’s economy through 2025. Further, New Mexicans would lose out on $26 billion in household income (an average of $10,723 per household in 2025), the state would forego $8.0 billion in state and local tax revenues while federal government tax receipts will be reduced by $8.3 billion over this same period.
New Mexico’s energy boom has been one of the major success stories of the Trump presidency. The state is now playing a critical role in the United States’ global energy dominance — as of this year, America is now the world’s largest producer of energy.
The Albuquerque Journal quoted Ryan Flynn, executive director of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, as saying, “We anticipate over 300 million barrels this year…This will make three years in a row of record production. It’s truly unprecedented.”
According to the GEI report, New Mexico’s energy boom has led thousands of new jobs, higher personal income, GDP growth, and state budget surpluses. These are all tangible gains that are felt in the daily lives of the state’s residents.
Banning fracking would cost residents billions of dollars in household income through higher energy prices and diminished economic activity. If the eventual Democratic nominee supports shutting down New Mexico’s energy production, they’re going to have a real fight on their hands convincing the state’s residents to so egregiously betray their wallets.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore