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Land Office seeks funding for more managers, renewable energy office

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The newly elected commissioner for the New Mexico State Land Office is asking for funding for four new oil and gas district resource managers and to establish an Office of Renewable Energy.

Due to increased oil and gas operations in the southeastern part of the state, additional personnel are necessary to handle the workload and provide adequate oversight, according to a press release by Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard.

The release also stated that the formal creation of an Office of Renewable Energy within the Commercial Division will enable the Land Office to develop a more diverse and sustainable revenue source for the state land trust.

The budget requests total $452,000 and would be paid through revenue the Land Office generates each year.

“With hundreds of thousands of acres of state trust land prime for renewable energy projects, New Mexico has an opportunity to become the leader in wind and solar,” Garcia Richard said. “I ran on a promise to advance renewable energy projects throughout the state, and creating the Office of Renewable Energy is just the first step in bringing that to fruition.”

With the 2019 legislative session beginning today, the fiscal year 2020 Land Office budget request will be up for debate and consideration for the next 60 days.