• New Chamber Study Quantifies Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing in New Mexico

Press Release
December 4, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE — At today’s New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry 2019 Legislative FOCUS and semi-annual membership meeting, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute President Marty Durbin unveiled the results of a new study that quantifies the benefits of hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas in New Mexico, one of the nation’s highest producing energy states.

The study comes as presidential candidates and activist groups have called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, with several candidates promising to pursue such a ban if elected.   The analysis found that more than 142,000 jobs in New Mexico — nearly 16% of the state’s workforce — would be lost by 2025 if hydraulic fracturing were banned. Additionally, $86 billion to the state’s economy would be lost, and New Mexicans would earn $26 billion less in household income — rising to more than $10,000 annually in 2025.   The study is part of a larger update to the Chamber’s 2016 “Energy Accountability Series,” which modeled the impacts of promises made by political candidates on energy policy. For 2020, the study is being updated with new national numbers and the addition of several new states and data, starting with the Land of Enchantment.   “America is cleaner and stronger as a result of increases in domestic oil and natural gas production made possible by hydraulic fracturing and advances in technology,” said Marty Durbin, President of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute. “In particular, New Mexico has been both a major beneficiary and a major contributor to this energy revolution, which means that it has a lot at stake in this debate. Our goal is to ensure that candidates for public office and voters understand how important oil and natural gas production is to New Mexico’s economy, and the real world harm across many areas that would come if fracking were banned.”   “Every New Mexican is benefiting from the rapid increase in oil and natural gas production as a result of hydraulic fracturing,” said Rob Black, President and CEO of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry. “Our state is now seeing record budget surpluses that are fueling much-needed investment in education and infrastructure as a direct result of oil and natural gas production. This new study should give pause to those who advocate for hydraulic fracturing bans, which would be devastating for New Mexico.”   New Mexico is on pace to produce over 300 million barrels of oil for the first time in 2019. The recent increase in oil production is largely due to the adaptation of hydraulic fracturing methods to horizontal wells in Eddy and Lea counties. Natural gas production is up more than 25% since 2013, with 64% of production coming from shale wells accessed through fracking.   A ban on hydraulic fracturing would not only directly impact those employed in the oil and natural gas industry, but also tens of thousands of others due to higher energy costs and the extensive supply chain and support services that enable production.     Across the nation, hydraulic fracturing has brought dramatic increases in natural gas usage, while preventing approximately 2.8 billion metric tons of electric power sector carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere, despite economic and population growth.   The Chamber’s analysis was conducted by FTI Consulting’s Economic Consulting practice using its energy market models and the IMPLAN model. The study is the first in a series of updates to 2016’s Energy Accountability Series report titled “What If…Hydraulic Fracturing was Banned?”