Hagerman: Speak up for the oil and gas industry

Ray Hagerman
Former Four Corners Economic Development CEO
Editorial promo

I appreciate the Daily Times article two weeks ago featuring our campaign to push back against the near-term adoption of the BLM’s onshore rules 3,4 and 5 and rules covering venting and flaring. Drawing attention to the consequences of these rules is critically important to the community and our federal legislative delegation can help us. Even if one hates fossil fuels, the magnitude of jobs lost as a consequence of the additional cost of rule compliance should be of grave concern.

There is no question the additional costs will result in thousands of plugged wells. The loss of all future taxes from those wells affects not only city and county government operations, but school systems as well. Loss of government revenue means fewer police, firemen and other important services. Loss of oil and gas severance taxes also equals loss of teachers and school resources. Loss of teachers means fewer educated youth. Fewer educated youth and fewer police means more crime. More crime means less tourism and less population. See the death spiral?

This community wants desperately to diversify its economy away from extraction, and progress is being made. There are new opportunities arising in electronics assembly, healthcare and petrochemicals, and even retail, but we cannot create jobs fast enough to replace 9,000 jobs destroyed by regulations. If the jobs lost from plugged wells become reality, many of the retail stores and services we all enjoy will cease to exist. Thus the lack of both will inhibit any future diversification efforts. Who wants to move to or expand in a place that has inadequate services?

It’s time the community (and our state for that matter) puts aside its political differences and pays attention to consequences, not just ideology. The effects on climate change of the new BLM rules will be inconsequential compared to the dire economic consequences.

The industry is getting better at controlling emissions as shown by decreasing levels over the past several years.

Industry is in the business of selling gas, and every cubic foot lost is money lost, so the notion that industry wants to vent and flare more rather than less is counter-intuitive. Let’s stop the madness and stop regulation simply for the sake of ideology. Real People with Real Jobs in a Real Community have livelihoods at stake! Sign the federal delegation letter at any of a number of local businesses, school districts or municipal locations.

Or simply go to and electronically sign. If you do nothing, you have no one to blame but yourself if the community suffers.