U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has criticized the Green New Deal policies supported by some congressional Democrats. During a speech in New Mexico Tuesday, Bernhardt also cited a moratorium on new oil permits in New Mexico near a national park held sacred by Native Americans as an example of balanced federal regulation.
Bernhardt made the comments at an annual conference of oil and natural gas industry leaders amid surging petroleum production in the Permian Basin that overlaps portions of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas.
The Colorado native and former lobbyist for the oil industry touted progress in speeding up processing times for drilling permit applications by the Bureau of Land Management, as well as an ongoing one-year moratorium on new federal drilling leases within 10 miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
Permits near Chaco in northeastern New Mexico have been deferred while regulators prepare a new management plan for the region’s resources.
Bernhardt told local oil-industry leaders that Green New Deal policies threaten their livelihoods and economic progress. New Mexico state government is increasingly reliant on surging income from the oil and natural gas sectors amid record-setting petroleum production in the Permian Basin that overlaps the southeast of the state and West Texas.