Democrats seek changes to state land office gas unlimited houston


She and VeneKlasen suggested a scoping process similar to that used by the federal government to evaluate impacts on the land and environment before any sales or leases are made. And, she also proposed returning to memorandums of agreement with local government entities to ensure that they have input on any Land Office deals that would impact them.

Muñoz and Garcia Richard are both legislators. Muñoz has served in the Senate since 2009, and has private experience in property management and land development. That has given him an understanding of high-level negotiations, such as those that take place at the land office, he said.

Garcia Richard has served in the House for six years. And, as a school administrator and former teacher, she said she better understands the need for the funds generated by the Land Office. She said the state needs to do a better job of balancing resources with land preservation.

“The agency was created two years before New Mexico became a state. It’s a 19th Century agency, with a 19th Century consumptive-use structure," VeneKlasen said, adding that logging, mining and grazing were the only real concerns at that time.

“Right now, obviously, oil and gas is the backbone of New Mexico’s economy. It’s not realistic to say tomorrow we’re going to transfer from a fossil fuel economy to a renewable economy,” VeneKlasen said. “But the oil and gas industry is thriving right now. We’re in the middle of the boom, and that’s when you start to make that transformation. Because what’s coming, the bust, right?

Education: B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University in government & political science. California State University-Los Angeles for education certification. University of Virginia-State Legislative Leaders Foundation, graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program

1. I’ll start on day one working to increase royalty rates on oil and gas and implement data driven solutions to ensure everyone pays their fair share. It’s time our royalties start being comparable to rates likes those in Texas (25%) or even Louisiana (60%). I’ll utilize my experience as a 3-term Representative to lobby and pass legislation.

3. I’ll champion the transition to renewable energy production and restore the $700 million in renewable energy projects the current land commissioner cancelled. I will also develop new low impact projects on state lands, such as recreational tourism and sustainable agriculture to create stable revenue streams to help fund our schools, hospitals and colleges.

I was asked by our former commissioner, Ray Powell to run when he stepped down because he believed voters deserved a proven Democrat, like me, with experience in crafting budgets, securing passage of critical legislation, and being able to reach across the aisle to form consensus; because this isn’t a game & fish job, it’s a management, contracts, and investment portfolio position with one mission: negotiate the best deal for New Mexico’s resources. I know how to champion environmental issues like halting the La Bajada Mine, restoring acequia funding, and ending the practice of fracking on State Trust Lands and Chaco Canyon. I will transform the office into a real advocate for the environment, public education and healthcare.

My top priorities as Land Commissioner will be to fully fund public education and early childhood learning in New Mexico by transforming New Mexico’s clean energy infrastructure by spurring a massive expansion of renewable energy production and manufacturing, mandating methane capture, and charging fair market value for oil/gas royalty/rental rates; opening state trust lands to ecotourism & recreation focusing on wildlife and watershed protection and management while incorporating tribal, acequia, and land grant voices into land office policy; and standing up to Trump by fighting his racist border wall and unconstitutional federal land grabs.

My personal background and career commitment to conservation activism, plus my personal experience with the State Land Office and state/federal land, water, wildlife and natural resource planning and policy policy makes me the best choice. My personal identity is closely tied to public lands and our natural resources. I grew up fishing, hunting, camping, horseback riding, birding and hiking on New Mexico’s public lands. My passion for the outdoors and public lands, water and wildlife are deeply personal and even spiritual. I am running for this particular office to give back to those things with which I most personally identify. For over a decade I have committed my personal life and career to driving and implementing progressive conservation policy, land use planning, wildlife management and environmental activism on both the state and federal level. My depth of knowledge of land, water, wildlife and natural resource policy is unparalleled. When state legislators like are looking for an expert to help them write conservation/environmental legislation, I am often the person they turn to. I have been called to testify as an expert witness for legislators in committee hearings on draft legislation. I have also testified in front of Congress on environmental issues. The intricacies and nuance of both state and federal natural resource policy related to ambitiously addressing climate change and methane capture cannot be underplayed and having expertise in those areas is critical.