In the midst of all else, we must never forget that Sept. 11, 2020, is the 19th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil. When we talk about remembering what happened on that terrible day, that message should always include the burden of gratitude we have as a society toward our first responders. Many of the firefighters and police officers who lost their lives that day were returning to buildings that everyone else was fleeing. They were putting themselves in danger to save lives.
The anniversary of September 11 is also a reminder of how we can all come together and work together as a country when we need to do so. We have not forgotten.
This certainly feels like stating the obvious, but any halting of oil and gas drilling on federal land would have a tremendous negative impact on our city, state and national economy. A report issued by the American Petroleum Institute and the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association this week emphasized that fact, however.
More than half of New Mexico’s oil production and two thirds of its natural gas production occur on federal lands, according to the report. The impact of a federal leasing ban in New Mexico would decrease oil production by 47 percent and natural gas production by 46 percent. More than 62,000 jobs would be lost, most of them in this area.
The report also suggests that the ban could be bad for the environment, as coal usage would subsequently have to increase, and the ban could significantly increase our reliance on foreign oil – to the degree of $500 billion, which would be horrible for our nation. The statistics go on and on. Prohibiting oil and gas drilling on federal land is, quite simply, a deal breaker, especially given everything else that has taken place this year.
Artesia General Hospital has updated its COVID-19 report to indicate that there have now been 13,900 total COVID-19 tests administered in Eddy County. AGH reports 584 total positive cases, as of Thursday morning, including 359 active cases, 220 recoveries and 5 COVID-related deaths. We are currently aware of 5 COVID-related hospitalizations.
We don’t know what to expect from the Governor’s press conference on Thursday afternoon by the submission deadline for this column. The state’s epidemiologic and modeling update, dated Sept. 8, lists a case count average per 100,000 for southeast New Mexico at 15.2. However, for the past four days this week, we have had four or fewer cases reported for Eddy County each day, which is a very good trend. We certainly hope that today’s update will include these recent statistics.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway