Trump campaign to air ads in New Mexico

The general election presidential race is coming to New Mexico. Or at least, it is through TV and digital ads. The Associated Press, and other outlets, reported late last week that Donald Trump’s campaign would be spending a total of $140 million on ads in 13 states. This is $100 million on TV ads and $40 million on digital advertising. From the AP:
The Trump campaign is targeting key battleground states like Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with Michigan, Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin and others.

Low oil prices prompt bills to reduce some industry taxes

As energy prices remain low, a handful of New Mexico lawmakers will attempt to lower taxes on some oil and gas production this upcoming legislative session. Two bills, one in each chamber, target tax relief for specific types of oil and gas extraction. In the state House of Representatives, James Strickler, R-Farmington, pre-filed a bill to increase the threshold of oil prices to qualify for an existing state tax incentive. In the Senate, Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, has a bill to reduce the severance tax rate on oil extraction. Both lawmakers say they filed their bills in response to stubbornly low oil prices that they say have hurt the state’s oil and gas industry.

Another look at New Mexico’s lack of oil inspectors

In part two of her two-part story on the effects of oil and gas in the New Mexico Oil Patch, Margaret Wright mentioned the need for additional oil and gas inspectors. Jim Winchester, the spokesman for the state’s Environment Department and the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Division (EMNRD), emailed Wright about the lack of funding for oil and gas inspectors in the state. From Margaret’s story:
The Environment Department is asking the Legislature for a budget increase this session, he says. OCD is also requesting money to add hire another nine inspectors, “to provide increases in the number of inspections on active wells, plugging wells releases, remediation of spill sites and overall environmental compliance. This response includes all counties in New Mexico.”
She went on to note that there are just 14 inspectors for the tens of thousands of drilling facilities in the state.

Affordable housing hard to come in Hobbs

As part of Margaret Wright’s two-part series on the rise in oil and gas drilling and its effects on southeast New Mexico, (here’s part one and part two) Wright mentioned that housing is hard to come by in the area. From Far From Heaven, part two in her series:State Rep. David Gallegos, R-Eunice, tells stories from his district that reflect repercussions from the industry’s highs and lows. Times have been flush, but rents are up around $1,200 a month for a small family home. With schools and emergency rooms at capacity, local officials have been working with home developers to create incentive agreements so that badly needed teachers, firefighters, police and nurses can afford to move into the area.This wasn’t just idle rhetoric from Gallegos; people really are having trouble finding places to live, as a Facebook post from the Hobbs Police Department last week reveals. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));
Post by Hobbs Police Department.

Far from heaven: Fatalities, crime and rents rise alongside oil production

© New Mexico Political Report, 2015. Contact for info on republishing. Part two in a series of two. Click here for part one. On a two-lane New Mexico state road, the number of heavy commercial trucks and semis roaring southeast between the villages of Loving and Jal tops 200 in under an hour.

Dark Gold: New Mexico’s oil patch grapples with industry impacts

© New Mexico Political Report, 2015. Contact for info on republishing. This story is part one of a two-part series. Read part two here. Eddy County, NM, was a sleepy, low-key place when retired teacher Vickie Connally and her family moved to their little ranch in Loving south of Carlsbad years ago.