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Senator Steven McCutcheon II responds to State Land Office’s Halting of Leases for Prime Land Tracts

CARLSBAD—In response to the Legislature’s rejection of an royalty rate increase on oil and gas, the New Mexico State Land Office (NMSLO) has halted the sale of leases for prime land tracts. For years, the NMSLO has sought legislative approval for an increase in the rate from 20 percent to 25 percent, and according to media reports, the NMSLO will now withhold prime land tract leases until the increase is approved.  


Senator Steven McCutcheon II (R-Carlsbad) issued the following statement criticizing the decision:


“After years of record-level revenues from oil and gas, the Commissioner of Public Lands is now using the children of New Mexico as pawns to try and force the Legislature to raise lease rates. New Mexico schools are the greatest beneficiaries of these royalties. To hold them hostage, for an unknown amount of time, is nothing short of unconscionable. 


There is a reason why this proposal has failed to gain traction over the past five legislative sessions. The proposed rate increase would make the state leases nearly seven percent higher than the federal rate, putting New Mexico at a competitive disadvantage. With skyrocketing inflation, high prices at the gas pump, and a rather stagnant local economy, the oil and gas boom is one of the few bright spots in New Mexico. I urge the Commissioner to abandon this irresponsible decision and get back to doing what is best for New Mexico.”



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