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An economic boom for N.M.

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By Paul Gessing

New Mexico is sitting on an untapped gold mine. Well, not quite a gold mine (although we do have some), but in terms of natural resources, the oil and gas located on New Mexico’s federally-owned lands is about the same.
New Mexico is among the top oil and natural gas producing states in the nation. These industries are the foundation upon which New Mexico’s economy and budgets are built. However, we’re like a car that is only firing on four of six possible pistons. That’s because so much of our lands are owned by the federal government and thus, underutilized.
A whopping 41-one percent of New Mexico is controlled by Washington. Some of these lands are completely off-limits to economic activity as they are owned and managed by Native tribes and the DoD, but more than 20 million acres currently managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management, could be considered for oil and gas exploration.


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