New Mexico Oil Boom Creates $1.2 Billion Surplus And Major Money For Infrastructure
The energy industry in New Mexico is booming, and it’s causing lawmakers to wrestle with the best kind of problem a state could have – what to do with a budget surplus.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that “due primarily to a steady increase in oil production levels, New Mexico is on track to end the current budget year in June with a more than $1.2 billion budget surplus.”
That’s a massive amount for a state of more than two million people, and it could mean major cash for a priority that states often pay lip service to, but never adequately fund – infrastructure.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other legislators are proposing using a “hefty chunk” of the surplus, between $300 and $400 million, on improving the state’s aging roads.
New Mexico is proving just how impactful a booming energy industry can be. Not only does it mean more jobs for families, often in struggling rural areas, but it means greater tax revenues for states that can be used to benefit the entire population and fund priorities that are too often neglected.
And this could be just the beginning for New Mexico.
In December, the U.S. Geological Survey reported that Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas are sitting on “the largest pool of oil and gas reserves ever announced” by the department. This discovery could be “some of the largest recoverable reserves in the world.”
New Mexico has been blessed with abundant resources that can power its economy for the foreseeable future. It’s now up to the state and its leaders to see it through and spend the proceeds wisely. The sky is the limit for New Mexico.