New Mexico land commissioner proposes a state renewable energy office

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Mexico’s commissioner of public lands wants to create a new office to encourage the development of renewable energy from sources such as wind and solar on state trust lands.

State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard yesterday announced a request to the Legislature to authorize funding for a state Office of Renewable Energy. She also is seeking authorization to expand oversight of oil and gas development in the southeast corner or the state by hiring four new district managers.

The State Land Office oversees 14,000 square miles of land and additional underground resources that are used to help fund schools, universities, hospitals and other public institutions. The agency is funded by income from state trust land.

Garcia Richard campaigned on pledges to expand opportunities for renewable energy development. New Mexico is experiencing record-setting oil production in the Permian Basin, which straddles the Texas-New Mexico state line.