New Mexico Oil & Gas Candidate Questionnaire

  • Is oil and gas produced in your district?    Yes, part of my district includes Rio Arriba and Sandoval County.
  • Do you have any direct experience with oil & gas production?  No.  I’m in the medical profession, but I understand that the oil and gas industry is essential for our state’s healthcare.  Royalties, taxes, and fees from the oil and gas industry account for 1/3 ($1.6 billion) of New Mexico’s general fund, which pays for our schools, public safety, and healthcare.
  • Did you know that revenue from oil & gas production makes up nearly one-third of our state’s operating budget, including $711 million in funding for public schools and $223 million for New Mexico’s higher education institutions?  Yes.
  • Did you know that the oil and gas industry provides 105,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout New Mexico?    Yes!  20,000 people are employed directly from oil & gas.   Indirect jobs include small businesses, such as hotel and restaurant owners.
  • Do you support or oppose increasing tax rates on the oil and gas industry?  I oppose.
  • Do you support or oppose ending normal business tax deductions for the oil and gas industry?   Oppose.  I am known in my local community for my record on fighting taxes and government over-regulation.
  • Do you know what the terms venting and flaring mean in the oil industry?  Do you know why an operator may have to vent or flare natural gas instead of selling it?   Venting & flaring is a common practice with excess gas during production.
  • Despite recent data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showing that methane emissions in New Mexico are on the decline, several environmental groups have proposed that methane emissions be regulated at the state level. If a state methane rule is enacted, oil and gas companies in New Mexico will be required to invest millions of dollars into new emissions control technologies – instead of developing oil and gas resources and increasing tax revenues and jobs. Based on what you have heard about this issue, would you support or oppose the enactment of a state methane rule in New Mexico?   I would oppose such a rule.
  • Are you familiar with the term hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”?  Based on what you have heard about this issue, would you vote to support or oppose the use of hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas operations in New Mexico?   I would vote to support.
  • Do you know that operators in New Mexico must disclose what chemicals are used in the hydraulic fracturing process?    Yes.
  • Are you aware that hydraulic fracturing has never contaminated a drinking water aquifer in NM?    Yes.
  • While federal and state laws and regulations already govern the development of oil and gas, some groups have proposed that oil and gas also be regulated at the city or county level in New Mexico. Based on what you have heard about this issue, would you support or oppose the enactment of additional regulations on the oil and gas industry at the local level?    I oppose.  The industry is already the most highly regulated industry in the state.