“We will be investing roughly $4 billion, next year, of capital in the Permian Basin, and we plan to grow production over the next several years to well in excess of 400,000 bpd” – Ryan Krogmeier, a Chevron executive, talking to a conference of traders in Singapore. He added that the Permian Basin is “the powerhouse (of U.S. crude output growth)”. Oil prices hit a more than two year high today.
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican writes a follow-up to last week’s report that looked at Governor Martinez’s campaign finances. Officials with the New Mexico Investment Council defended the process and Dems are for calling for an investigation.
- The uncertainty surrounding the future of Obamacare and whether the federal government will continue subsidies to insurers have resulted in state regulators approving “the largest health insurance premium increase in the four-year history of New Mexico’s subsidized exchange”. Average premium increases for 2018 will range from 36% to 41%.
- A U.S. Department of Energy official reported to lawmakers that the agency “is still uncertain about the extent of the pollution” of groundwater below Los Alamos National Laboratory.
- Public Service Company of New Mexico submitted a renewable energy plan for 2018 to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission that “calls for 50 more megawatts of solar energy, plus higher output from current wind and geothermal resources.”
- Jerry Pacheco of the International Business Accelerator writes in the Albuquerque Journal that Senator Pete Domenici was instrumental in the growth of trade between New Mexico and Mexico. In case you missed it I wrote a piece about his legacy last week.
- Voters in Santa Fe County overwhelmingly voted against (70% to 30%) an increase in the gross receipts tax rate. Following a vote against a sugary beverage tax in May, public officials should get the message that citizens have no appetite for more government spending.
- The latest GOP effort to overhaul healthcare seems to have come up short again. Governor Martinez has come out against it.
- Republicans in the Senate are set unveil a bill that offers a pathway to citizenship to so-called “Dreamers”.
- New Mexico’s two senators as well as Congressman Ben Ray Luján are asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to maintain the restrictions that limit oil and gas leasing on public land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
- Last week it was revealed that Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendations would not change the size of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, but that he recommended President Trump use his authority to permit activities that are currently restricted.
[Tech & Strategy]
- A piece in Bloomberg Businessweek examines how large government tax breaks to companies building data centers (like Facebook in Los Lunas) are not creating many jobs: “The states and municipalities seem unlikely to break even on those deals, or to materially boost local employment.” Corporate welfare is not the best use of taxpayer money, but don’t tell that to the politicians who get to boast that they “brought Facebook to New Mexico”.
- Social media companies are under greater scrutiny over allegations they facilitated Russian efforts to interfere in last year’s presidential campaign. Yesterday the Washington Post revealed that President Obama personally reached out to Zuckerberg to warn him that unless more was done “it would only get worse in the next presidential race.”
- The Very Large Array 50 miles west of Socorro is receiving national attention for starting “a massive surveying project aimed at producing the most detailed view ever made of such a large portion of space using radio waves emitted from throughout the Milky Way and beyond.”