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Herrell Calls on Lujan Grisham to Back Bill Exempting New Mexico from Biden's Oil & Gas Ban

March 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) again wrote to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today seeking assistance in exempting New Mexico from President Joe Biden's moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on federal lands. 

Even before the president's order was officially announced, the congresswoman has led efforts against the administration's anti-fossil fuel policies. On January 28, Herrell introduced the POWER Act. That bicameral legislation, backed by House Republican leadership, would prohibit the administration from banning new energy leases on federal land without the approval of Congress. 

"I read with interest a story by Reuters today indicating you are now seeking to exempt New Mexico from President Joe Biden’s suspension of new leases and permits for oil and natural gas production on federal lands," Herrell wrote to Lujan Grisham. "Earlier this week, I likewise read a story by E&E News indicating Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan similarly sought such an exemption from the Biden administration." 

The congresswoman's letter follows two similar pleas for the governor to join her efforts against the Biden ban. Last month, Herrell sent a letter to Lujan Grisham asking how the state would make up for the lost revenue and later urged the governor to raise the issue with President Biden at a White House meeting. 

On February 3, Congresswoman Herrell introduced the Protecting New Mexico's Jobs and Public Education System Act to exempt New Mexico from Biden’s moratorium. 

"Given the grave concern we all share for our state’s future," Herrell's letter concluded, "I ask you to urge Senators Heinrich and Lujan to introduce companion legislation in the United States Senate."

The full text of the letter can be found HERE