NM land commissioner issues edict further restricting oil and gas

On Friday, Democrat state Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard issued an executive order from her office banning any oil and gas leasing within one mile of any school. 

She wrote in the edict, “I, Stephanie Garcia Richard, Commissioner of Public Lands, do hereby order and direct that the state trust lands located within one mile of a school or other educational institution shall not be leased for new oil and gas purposes until further order, effective immediately.”

It also read that “nothing herein shall restrict the State Land Office from authorizing the placement of infrastructure or permitted uses for the purpose of ensuring that appropriate public health, safety or environmental standards are met,” apparently attempting to usurp more broad power to restrict the oil and gas production under the guise of “health” and safety.” 

Nowhere in the order are citations to any studies or scientific evidence to justify her action. 

During a press conference, Garcia Richard said, “There is no reason to greenlight operations that produce dangerous pollutants so close to schoolkids when we have millions of acres of state lands to work with.”

“Ultimately, we need a public health buffer around schools enshrined in state law, and this order provides an opportunity to engage the Legislature, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders on developing a comprehensive and long-term solution,” asking lawmakers to pass legislation to codify this order.

Jim Winchester, Executive Director of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, wrote, “IPANM agrees that safe and reasonable setbacks are necessary between certain production sites and schools, however, we have concerns that the distance to be enforced under the State Land Office’s assumed discretionary authority is arbitrary and isn’t based on any definitive evidence of health impacts.”

“While it would have been appropriate for the State Land Commissioner to consult with industry before issuing this order carte blanche, we will work with her office on a case-by-case basis if there are particular tracts of land that might otherwise be safely and responsibly developed to provide critical revenues to improve New Mexico’s schools.”

Oil and gas revenues comprise 50 percent of the state’s General Fund, meaning further restrictions will directly harm state programs funded by oil and gas, such as education and health care.


13 thoughts on “NM land commissioner issues edict further restricting oil and gas”

  1. What happened to “we the people”. Bureaucrats do not have the power to make laws or decisions the affect the people.

  2. Prime example of some bored housewife that crawled under a desk to get a job and has no clue what the job is!

  3. What happened to “we the people” getting a chance to voice our thinking on direction that affects us? Another dictator rule in NM.

  4. They will stop oil and gas but will plunder our beautiful landscape with turbines and Godzilla 500 KV power lines which are detrimental to our health and environment. (All power going to California by the way). Check out what the BLM has handed over to these so-called green companies and follow the money. I say these politicians should not be allowed to drive gas powered vehicles nor fly. IDIOTS!!!!!

  5. New Mexico is the mini-mirror of the brandon govt., the country is run by the unelected appointees, their rules have turned me into a criminal!

  6. Land commissioner issuing an executive order, like any the democrats do, that has to also be illegal. She is not a governor, and should not have this power. The democrats are shitting in our faces and saying we need to like it. NM lives off gas/oil. She is working against the health and safety of the citizenry with bullshit like this. Where are our representatives telling her to back off?

    1. They are mostly democrats who do whatever they are told. I don’t know why these people cannot figure out that oil and gas revenue is what pays their salaries.

  7. Number 1: Like someone above said. Ignore unconstitutional mandates. 2: learn about and spread the idea of “Jury Nullification” to stop the persecution of law abiding citizens who have been made criminals by these tyrants.

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