New Mexico’s economy has been struggling in recent years. In June 2018, our state unemployment rate was 4.9 percent – the fourth highest in the country. A study from 2014 ranked New Mexico as having one of the worst state economies in the nation.
Unfortunately, some have seen this as a reason to leave. But we aren’t content to let this define who we are or who we will become. Where others might see insurmountable challenges, we see an opportunity to rebuild our economy and grow together.
We shouldn’t have to settle for mediocrity. We have the tools and resources to create the kind of vibrant economy that New Mexicans deserve. This is a hard-working and resilient state, and when economic opportunities are available, New Mexicans always come through.
In the first quarter of 2017, we were the third fastest growing state in the country. Development of oil and gas was the leading contributor to this growth, and the continued investment in producing regions like the Permian and the San Juan is providing the kinds of jobs and economic opportunity that give us hope and optimism for the future. New Mexico also led the country in new wind power development in 2017, which underscores how our state’s growing energy sector is as diverse as its people. And we remain the largest producer of potash, a key ingredient in fertilizers used across the country.
As westerners, we value the natural resources that surround us. We have some of the most beautiful mountains and river valleys in the world, attracting hikers, skiers, and tourists from all over. As conservationists, we understand the value of a balanced approach to growth and development, as well as the economic value of parks, wilderness, and other open spaces. In fact, outdoor recreation itself supports 99,000 jobs in New Mexico and $2.8 billion in salaries and wages.
We envision a New Mexico with a strong and dynamic economy, one that encourages new business and investment. We want working families to have the opportunities to get high-paying jobs, with better schools for their children, better infrastructure, and fully-funded public services. We want affordable energy so families can power their homes and fill up their tanks without having to make tough budget decisions. We want clean air and water so our children can grow up healthy.
We believe the best way to achieve this vision is by encouraging economic opportunity and responsible development. For example, approximately 30 percent of the revenue in our state’s General Fund comes from oil and gas development. Renewable energy has spurred $1.6 billion in economic activity in New Mexico. Potash mining generates $6 million in state revenues per year. This growth has also come alongside amazing environmental progress: since 2005, carbon dioxide emissions in New Mexico have declined by 15 percent.
Our coalition is broad and diverse. Some of our families have been in New Mexico for generations, while some of us recently moved here. We’re liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. We’re young and old, and everything in between.
But more than anything, we are New Mexicans united in achieving one goal: economic prosperity for New Mexico.
Our coalition includes: