5 reasons NMOGA sucks!

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Lucas
 Herndon
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ProgressNow New Mexico has been keeping tabs on the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association for a while now, but especially since their former Executive Director Ryan Flynn was famously recorded bragging to their annual conference that he intended to make the lobby group “the most powerful organization in the state” in 2017.

Believe it or not, it’s time for NMOGA’s annual conference again and while we wait anxiously for whatever silliness comes out of it this year, we thought we’d recap some of the top 5 reasons why NMOGA just sucks.

  1. NMOGA is the public face of a group of businesses that really exert A LOT of control over our state. Like, way more than anyone else.

    • Over the years there have been countless articles written about how much money the oil and gas industry spends both to get certain politicians elected and during the year to woo lawmakers via “lobbying” with expensive dinners, gifts, and “investments” in legislator’s districts.
    • Ryan Flynn’s whole “WE WILL BE EVEN MORE POWERFUL” approach. At a statewide industry conference in 2017, NMOGA President and CEO Ryan Flynn said, “NMOGA is going to be the most powerful organization in the state of New Mexico, period. We are going to compete with our opposition at every single level, and in every single arena, and we are going to win these fights as we move forward. We are not going to try hard, we are not looking for participation trophies, we are looking to influence the narrative and win these disputes as we move forward.”
    • What does that show us about their true intentions? “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou
  2.  NMOGA lies to New Mexicans constantly.

    • When NASA spotted the nation’s largest hot spot of methane over the Four Corners, NMOGA lied its ass off about the cause, saying it was anything but the industry that pulls methane out of the ground for a living.
      Research proved the hot spot was caused primarily by the oil and gas industry. Then more regulatory rollbacks happened at the urging of the oil and gas industry.
    • NMOGA lied about how the oil and gas leasing moratorium would affect New Mexico. In reality, the industry admits it stockpiled enough leases to operate as normal for the entirety of President Biden’s time in the White House.
    • NMOGA misled the state’s Legislative Finance Committee about how proposed New Mexico rules to limit ozone pollution from oil and gas to stay within nationally regulated limits would affect the industry. These numbers are vastly inflated compared to cost estimates from the New Mexico Environment Department.
  3. NMOGA embodies the worst of ‘revolving door’ government-to-industry-executive practices.

    • Ryan Flynn was the Secretary of the Environment Department under Susana Martinez before becoming Director of NMOGA.
    • Robert McEntyre, NMOGA Director of Communications, came from the Martinez-era Education Department.
    • Speaking of the Martinez-era Education Department, Larry Behrens, while not employed by NMOGA but operating as NMOGA’s independent attack dog under the banner of Power the Future, was ALSO a Martinez-era state employee in the Education Department.
  4. Speaking of Power the Future, the fourth reason NMOGA sucks is how they pretend to care about New Mexico but really are answering to corporate masters in Houston and New York.

    • We’ve written extensively about the fact that companies like Exxon, Chevron, BP, Hilcorp, and others that are members of NMOGA are all out-of-state, multinational companies. Their financial interests only extend to New Mexico as far as how much oil and gas they can extract and sell for profit. 
    • Groups like Power the Future which are directly funded by oil magnate Koch Industries come in and hire people like Behrens to astroturf our communities and give an air of localness while still taking marching orders from big lobbying firms in DC.
    • We know that Power the Future and NMOGA work directly with big finance people with ties to the national Republican machine that helped elect Trump in 2016.
  5. NMOGA sucks cause they’re gaslighting us (literally sometimes because of gas flaring but we digress).

    • NMOGA absolutely LOVES to remind us how much money their industry “gives” to the state. At the time of this writing, there’s a current discussion about the surplus of over $1 BILLION because of renewed demand for gasoline and other petroleum products. HOWEVER…
    • The companies they represent make TRILLIONS of dollars from New Mexico oil and gas, and it can’t be overstated how much more a trillion is than a billion. Even their own pretend report used recently to try and gaslight the Legislative Finance Committee showed how much profit LEAVES the state vs what stays here.
    • And to be clear, we don’t want their lucre, that’s not the point. We want a state budget that isn’t reliant on ONE industry that we can’t even count on one quarter to the next no matter how much they might “give” us when they make “extra.” We want financial stability based on non-extractive resources which is totally a thing we can do if we can oust the oil and gas lobbyists and their political apologists.

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