“The issues we face in rural New Mexico are going to take a back seat,” Nibert said.
He also warned that the new political map could further undermine Congressional support for oil extraction on federal lands. Rising oil production in the Permian Basin portion of New Mexico – much of it on public land – has catapulted the state beyond North Dakota to become the nation’s second-largest oil producer.
“These (oil) interests are going to be divided and apparently defended by three separate congresses (people) who are likely to come from the metropolitan area and know nothing about this industry,” Nibert said.
The seat for the 2nd District is currently held by First-Term Republican United States Representative Yvette Herrell, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump who defeated a Democrat to one term in 2020. The redesigned district would slightly favor them. Democratic candidates, according to an analysis commissioned by the Legislature.
The other two seats of state have been held by Democrats for more than a decade. The redistribution plan would encompass several conservative rural counties in the 1st District, where United States Democratic Representative Melanie Stansbury won the election in a special election in June to succeed Deb Haaland after her appointment to the post. Secretary of the Interior.
The redistribution plan would expand the state’s 3rd Northern District into decidedly conservative stretches of southern New Mexico, where the economy is supported by oil development. This has potentially conflicting political implications for first-term MP Teresa Leger Fernandez, who campaigned in 2020 to support a rapid transition to renewable sources of energy production in recognition of climate change.