ProgressNow New Mexico has published a number of articles about the deep ties the oil and gas industry has with former Governor Susana Martinez’ administration. But when you stop and look at the makeup of top lobbying groups like the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA), so-called Power the Future, and top lobbyists for other extraction industry titans, the numbers are truly stunning. At least nine top lobbyists currently working in the extraction industry (or lobbyist adjacent) came directly out of the Martinez administration. The big problem? New Mexico doesn’t have a law that requires a “cooling off” period for officials once they leave the public sector and return to private life.
ProgressNow New Mexico has been working for the last few months to unravel the complicated ties that the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) has with numerous outside entities working to control the narrative around extraction in the state. We’ve found heaps of evidence to support our claims that NMOGA has evolved from just another industry advocate to fully trying to change the culture of New Mexico. We think it’s important you understand why this matters so here’s our quick rundown on everything you need to know. In 2017, NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn gave a speech to members where he announced his intention to make NMOGA “the most powerful organization in the state of New Mexico.” Throughout the 2018 Legislative Session, we saw record amounts of spending from NMOGA to influence policy in that, the last year of Governor Susana Martinez’s last year in office.
Happy Monday New Mexico. Do you have your Halloween costume picked out yet? Seems like the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association does. They are dressing up as right wing attack dogs Power the Future this year.
As you know, NMOGA is working directly with Power the Future, a Koch-funded lobby group that seems to spend the majority of its (vast) resources attacking clean energy policy around the country. New Mexico has become ground zero for PTF, going so far as to hire former Martinez-era talking head Larry Beherns to be their point person on the ground here.
It also appears that NMOGA is working with top-tier far-right digital consulting firm Harris Media
ProgressNow New Mexico has come into possession of a PowerPoint presentation from 2018 that was prepared by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and seemingly presented by their Communications Director Robert McEntyre.
It contains slides with then forthcoming plans to expand their digital and traditional media reach into New Mexico, but more significantly, it confirms that NMOGA planned and has continued to collaborate directly with out-of-state lobbying group, Power the Future.
You can see the whole slideshow here:
You can clearly see on slide six, the final bullet point: “Coordinate allied groups and align strategies and messaging.”
Given the layout of the presentation, it then appears that none other than Power the Future founder Daniel Turner himself was present to give some portion of the presentation, as his name card and that of his organization are similarly presented on slides 32 and 33. For the record, we know Turner was in NM during the summer of 2018. He tweeted a video of himself with a billboard Power the Future apparently bought in Sandoval County.
Here in beautiful New Mexico to support energy workers! Don’t let radical environmentalists take away your jobs. @powerthefuture #EnergyDominance #EnergyWorkers More to come, Sandoval County!! https://t.co/yF102QFP8l
Turner is based in Washington DC and started Power the Future sometime at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018. According to articles about him, he comes from working directly with Koch Industries and before that the Bush administration (Bush 2). Turner is obviously vehemently a climate science denier, but also a pro-Trump nationalist who echoes a lot of jingoist mantras on Twitter.
Almost 500 New Mexicans have already signed letters supporting our clean energy future: Now it’s your turn!
A few weeks back ProgressNow New Mexico published a blog exposing so-called “Power the Future” for the (likely) Koch Brothers-funded mouthpieces they really are. The response from across the state has been incredible! Click Here to send a letter NOW! Our friends at Conservation Voters of New Mexico even sent our blog out to their members with a call to action to tell Larry Behrens, PTF’s local spokes-lackey and long-time NM conservative mouthpiece, that New Mexicans are not reversing course. We’re invested in clean, renewable energy future AND in ensuring that workers from across the state, including those in the oil and gas fields, are represented with longterm and sustainable options not tied to the volatile global energy syndicates.
Remember last month when we laid out how Washington DC based “Power the Future” was really just another (probably) Koch brothers scheme to undermine the debate around methane waste in New Mexico? Well in the last month we’ve seen them keep up the drumbeat put forward by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) with almost Pavlovian-like responses. Most recently, NMOGA has been saying that methane emissions are actually down in New Mexico. News flash: they aren’t. Even the Trump administration admits that climate emissions are basically flat (see chart below), and other analysises has shown that methane emissions in the oil and gas industry are on the rise.
Oh fair New Mexico, we love you so… but there’s always something isn’t there? Last month, former Wyoming-based rodeo clown Marvin Nash applied to start using “produced water” on crops here in New Mexico. Wait, what? Hold on a minute. What does a rodeo clown from Wyoming know about putting contaminated water on crops?
It’s late spring in New Mexico and everything is sprouting, even new dark money funded pro energy groups. One called “Power the Future” just cropped up and hired a recycled Susana Martinez political operative as their New Mexico lead in an attempt to hide their east coast home base. But don’t worry, we have pulled the weeds on this one to show you where their roots and branches really lead. It’s not pretty. The oil and gas industry and the heavily funded political arms they control are springing forward with aggression and are using this time in New Mexico to try and stir the pot and sow seeds of discord when it comes to the huge progress we’ve made by passing the Energy Transition Act, moving toward stronger statewide oil and gas regulations and other efforts to promote a cleaner energy future under Governor Lujan Grisham.
This year’s legislative session was a really intense roller coaster, to say the least, and we all took some time to rest and reflect together on why we do this important political work. ProgressNow New Mexico’s coverage hardly scratched the surface and I want to take a moment to fill you in. I will also give you some tips on how you can help fight back against dangerous rhetoric! Reproductive Health
Anti-abortion extremists were in full force, spreading misinformation and only harassing an Indigenous and queer person (me) over House Bill 51, not including legislators and their families. They regularly use tactics like harassing and stalking to intimidate activists, medical providers, and patients so this is just one of their many tactics.
A month ago ProgressNow New Mexico published a blog about SB 186, a bill that would equip the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) with actual enforcement and punitive powers to enforce state regulations on oil and gas operators in the state. In that piece we highlighted how over the last decade the oil and gas industry has caused literally THOUSANDS of infractions but because of a legal loophole, OCD has not been able to fine those companies, leaving those companies with little motivation to adhere to the law. This isn’t just an academic issue. This is a real problem with real consequences for New Mexicans. Today we want to look at some specific examples of where major failings have happened around the state that affected New Mexicans’ lives and where, if OCD were able to hold these companies accountable, disasters like this could be avoided.
SB 489, the Energy Transition Act cleared its first hurdle this past Saturday as it passed out of the Senate Conservation Committee 5-3. ProgressNow New Mexico joins our robust coalition of statewide partners in thanking the committee for making this a priority for the state NOW and for the future of New Mexico. However, almost immediately after the bill passed from the committee, detractors of the bill continued to blanket media space with renewed attacks about this important legislation. New Energy Economy sent out another misleading email about this landmark bill. NEE stated, “SB 489 does NOT close the plant.