Oil and gas communities important to energy transition

Front-line oil and gas communities like those in the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico, where people live alongside extraction operations, should be at the forefront of policy development aimed at curbing pollution and the impacts of climate change, said New Mexico Rep. Angelic Rubio (D-35) during a recent talk.

The discussion led by Climate Advocate Voices Unidos (CAVU) was centered on the influence Rubio and other lawmakers hoped local communities like Carlsbad in the southeast or Farmington in the northwest San Juan Basin would have as the state moves forward with efforts to mitigate problems like air pollution arising from fossil fuel development.

The entire state depends on oil and gas for its economy, with the industry providing up to a third of the state’s budget, but Rubio said those communities with heavy extraction operations are even more reliant on oil and gas and the economic impact of policy that could limit the sector on rural areas must be considered.