New: Gov’s new energy secretary is an oil executive. His company is one of her top donors.

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Governor Martinez has appointed a former oil and gas company executive and top donor to her campaigns, PACs and Republican causes as the State’s new secretary of energy, minerals and natural resources department.

Ken McQueen, LinkedIn

Ken McQueen is the former Vice-President of WPX energy’s San Juan-area operations for the Oklahoma-based fossil fuel company, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Public campaign finance records show that Martinez and WPX have a close relationship.  The company has been one of the most consistent and largest donors to her campaigns, her PACs and campaigns of her legislative allies in Santa Fe.

  • $10,000 to Advance New Mexico NOW PAC, Nov. 2014.  This PAC used donor funds to create ads news outlets said were based on false information to attack Democrats who opposed Martinez. [read more]
  • $5,000 to NM Prosperity, a GOP-led PAC, in November 2016. That PAC gave $30,000 to the GOAL WEST PAC founded by Congressman Steve Pearce and still connected to his family.
  • At least $10,400 to Gov. Martinez’s re-election campaigns, including $5,200 (the maximum allowed) two months AFTER she won re-election in 2014.  It was also 1 month before the legislative session where Republicans pushed new laws exempting oil and gas companies from local drilling bans in neighborhoods.

Under Governor Martinez, oil and gas companies have racked up more than 3,600 violations for spills and pollution.  99.5% have not been prosecuted or resulted in fines. [read more].

Her administration was also caught by the Albuquerque Journal issuing drilling permits without safety inspections.  Department heads created a fake inspector to issue those permits and avoided detection for months. [read more]

Governor Martinez has taken more than $1,000,000 from oil, gas and energy companies into her campaigns.

Read more about this developing story at the NM Political Report

Ex-energy exec to head Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

Governor Susana Martinez announced her new pick for secretary of the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.