“NMOGA is going to be the most powerful organization in the state of New Mexico, period.”
– Ryan Flynn, Executive Director New Mexico Oil and Gas Association
This is the beginning of a series of articles highlighting the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. NMOGA lobbies on behalf of oil and gas interests, seeking less regulation and oversight for their industry and greater access to political power in the state. Last year, the Executive Director of NMOGA, Ryan Flynn, spoke at their annual meeting about the future of oil and gas in New Mexico as they moved into the election cycle of 2018, their goals to seize power, and the strength of their “opposition,” the citizens of New Mexico who have pushed back against the fossil fuel industry and their stranglehold on the state at all levels.
Every fall, members of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association meet in Santa Fe for their annual member meeting; a meeting so large that two years ago there weren’t enough hotel rooms in the city to accommodate legislators who had to return to the Roundhouse for a special session.
At the most recent convention in October of 2017, the NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn gave his keynote address to his members, highlighting the return of higher per-barrel oil on a worldwide level, the increased growth of wells and production in New Mexico, and towing the line that their work was critical to the success of the state.
About halfway through his half-hour remarks, Flynn gave a nod to his former boss and her role in the Oil and Gas Industry’s continued success in New Mexico.
“Susana Martinez, my former boss, she’s embraced an all-of-the-above approach to energy policy. Probably the most consistent benefit to our industry over the last 7 years is that we don’t have to worry when we walk into each legislative session about a harmful piece of legislation getting signed into law,” he said.
Yeah, that’s right, Flynn is the former Secretary of Environment under Martinez.
A complete transcript of Flynn’s speech has been leaked and used in an article about the effect the oil and gas industry has on the small towns where the boom is being experienced. The transcript of that speech has so many important issues that ProgressNow New Mexico will be publishing multiple articles addressing key issues Flynn brought up.
His words aren’t anything surprising from a major Big Oil executive, but his brazenness about his industry’s political willpower is nothing less than shocking.
“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,” he said. “And we need to act with a sense of urgency to ensure that we are driving the policy discussions. We’re driving public discourse; we’re driving election discussions and debates. We’re not just waiting for the dust to settle and being pushed in one direction or another.”
Flynn said all of this in October of last year and he’s wasted little time in putting his spin into the public sphere as well. In an op-ed piece published in the Albuquerque Journal last week, he dragged out the old “out-of-state special interests” line to try and equivocate the fact that citizens around the state of New Mexico really do care about how the oil and gas industry affect our state. He claims that caring about the environment and wasteful practices are just “political noise” in an election year.
However, in a poll conducted across party lines and up and down the state last year, 65% of New Mexicans support stronger rules for methane capture. This is because New Mexicans are smart enough to know that wasted methane vented into the atmosphere not only causes pollution but also literally is wasting our resources that otherwise, we could utilize to heat our homes or cook supper.
New Mexico’s citizens have been fighting for years to have more transparency in their government and the influencers of those who make our laws. When the leader of THE LARGEST lobby group in the state speaks so unequivocally about his plans for political domination, every citizen should be concerned with who really has the power in Santa Fe.
We’ll be bringing you more from Flynn’s speech in the coming weeks. Make sure you SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss the ongoing coverage next week.