NM GOP leaders rip into NMOGA chief for weaponizing organization as Dem political machine

On Sunday, the Albuquerque Journal published an op-ed from New Mexico Party Chairman Steve Pearce, New Mexico House Republican Leader Rep. Jim Townsend, and New Mexico Senate Republican Leader Sen. Stuart Ingle nailing the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) for putting out unrealistic expectations for the industry and for sticking their hand into political fights — where they do not belong, other than through their political action committee.

The Republican leaders chide NMOGA’s executive director Ryan Flynn, the former Secretary of Environment for the State of New Mexico under Gov. Susana Martinez, for “painting a very rosy picture about the projected recovery of the oil and gas industry in our state.” They claim Flynn has given a “false portrayal of the industry plays right into the hands of Democrats who want to keep spending as if nothing catastrophic has happened.” 

Also, Flynn is criticized for sticking NMOGA into the 2nd Congressional District fight by praising Democrat Rep. Xochitl Torres Small on the same day that former Democrat Congressman Harry Teague endorsed Torres Small’s challenger, Republican former state Rep. Yvette Herrell for the seat. 

Through an official statement from NMOGA, Flynn said of Torres Small that she “has stood up to those in her party who want to completely ban fracking.” But that is untrue, as Torres Small has “did the exact opposite, when just this past February, she joined with the radicals in Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and voted for a fracking ban. Not only does Flynn’s statement embarrass NMOGA, its timing uncovers Flynn’s premeditated poor decision to use the association as a political weapon. Getting NMOGA involved in this race is not only unethical, but also potentially illegal and risks permanent damage to the association’s reputation,” write the GOP leaders. 

Pearce, Townsend, and Ingle quote former NMOGA Chairwoman Claire Chase, who previously ran for the 2nd Congressional District in their criticism, writing that Chase “sent a campaign fundraising email titled ‘Xochitl Sold Us Out,’ which admonished her for voting ‘to give future presidents the power to ban fracking unilaterally and bankrupt our state.’ Incidentally, Chase has since endorsed Herrell and donated to her campaign.” 

New Mexico Oil and Gas Associaton has also gotten ire from Republicans for their massive donations to the Democrat Party and Democrat Party officials, who consistently vote against the oil and gas industry, such as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s radical “Energy Transition Act,” (ETA) which is dubbed as “New Mexico’s Green New Deal” and supported by Xochitl Torres Small. NMOGA also took a neutral stance on the rabidly anti-oil and gas ETA, which will completely wipe out the energy industry by the year 2050.

The NMOGA PAC has given tens of thousands of dollars to anti-oil and gas Democrats just this election cycle, such as a $25,000 donation to Democrat House Speaker Brian Egolf’s PAC, which will help elect far-left members of the Legislature through its efforts. 

NMOGA also gave Democrat then-Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham $5,500 for her 2018 gubernatorial bid.

The letter concludes as follows:

So, what is Flynn’s motive? We aren’t exactly sure, but this pattern of lies has effectively destroyed any trust we had in him to be a fair advocate for NMOGA. While we cannot dictate to NMOGA who should be running its organization, we would suggest the association consider putting a person in its leadership who does not spread misinformation and puts personal political preferences ahead of the interests of the oil and gas industry and the workers it supports.

NMOGA can repair its reputation as a reliable arbiter of factual information, but the choice is up to its board.

The Association has not released a public statement on the letter, however, it is a clear wake-up call that elected leaders who have been championing the energy industry, as well as candidates like Yvette Herrell, deserve the support to continue promoting oil and gas in New Mexico, not far-left anti-oil politicians such as Brian Egolf and Xochitl Torres Small.

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