As many of you have seen, a proposal calling for New Mexico to halt issuance of new fracking permits over the next four years passed through the Senate Conservation Committee on a 5-4 vote Saturday.
There are numerous bills of significant importance to Carlsbad and its residents being debated by the state legislature this year, but they all would largely become irrelevant should this bill pass. Such a pause on new permits would cost New Mexico between $1.7 and $3.8 billion a year in revenue through 2025, according to an analysis by the legislature’s chief economist. Beyond the incredible loss to state government, local government and schools, tens of thousands of people would lose their jobs.
This harmful bill still has to clear two more committees on the Senate side before going up for a vote. On Saturday, Senator David Gallegos said it best during the debate when he voted against the bill.
“I don’t know if you understand totally how much New Mexico depends on fracking and the oil and gas industry. They do so much for our communities, our schools and our children,” the Senator told the committee.
Let’s hope wiser heads prevail and that this bill doesn’t go any further.
On Tuesday, we received a response to our questions about vaccine distribution from Dr. Massaro, who is the Chief Medical Officer with the New Mexico Department of Health. We wrote to the Department of Health expressing our concerns over Eddy County having the state’s lowest percentage of residents who have received a vaccine. We want to make sure vaccines are being supplied to those who meet all requirements and who are interested in receiving them.
Dr. Massaro informed us that the DOH is aware of the differences in vaccination rates across the county and is working to address the situation. He said providers in Eddy County have received more vaccines this week than in any previous week, and the DOH hopes to continue to increase allocations as providers establish more vaccination events.
According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, Eddy County has moved up slightly to 10.4 percent of our population having received at least one vaccine, but we are currently still near the bottom of the list when compared to other counties. We look forward to working with the DOH and our area providers to continue to improve.
As a reminder, you can register for a vaccine at https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org/. As of Wednesday, 4,638 Eddy County residents have received at least one vaccine. If you are having any difficulty, please let us know.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway