In recent years, New Mexico has been facing an economic crisis trying to balance its budget and pay for education. The boom and bust cycle of oil and gas production drives the state’s widely fluctuating revenues. Meanwhile, energy production and distribution is also contributing to massive amounts of uncontrolled leaking methane and carcinogenic gases. Unregulated methane waste represents revenue losses both for oil & gas companies themselves and New Mexico’s citizens. But it is also endangering the health of nearby communities and compromising our air, climate and cultural resources. Unlike other neighboring extractive states, Colorado and Texas, we haven’t been able to leverage our relationship with oil and gas into a diversity of revenue sources and industries by reinvesting the revenue into infrastructure projects and education. As the coal industry leaves the state, we believe there are significant opportunities for oil and gas to be part of the economic, climate and education solutions.
Unearthed: Exploring Oil and Gas Issues in New Mexico is a year-long multimedia initiative designed to educate and engage the public in a productive conversation about climate change and energy production in New Mexico. The initiative is designed to engage a broad range of communities impacted by oil and gas extraction in New Mexico including: Native American tribes (Navajo, Apache and Pueblo), ranchers, farmers, sportsmen, educators, healthcare industry, child welfare advocates, oil and gas industry, environmental advocates, local, state and national policy makers. UNEARTHED will work to create state-based solutions protecting the environment, health and cultural resources that also work to grow the economy.
Throughout 2018, Unearthed will release online videos and conduct free public webinars featuring panel discussions moderated by Tara Gatewood.
Unearthed utilizes the power of local voices in film, storytelling, and community collaboration to bridge the gap between ideological extremes, linking climate, economy, and health so that they are more easily understood as non-partisan issues. In coordination with more than 20 local and national non-profits, schools, community and religious organizations, we will roll-out our video and webinar series through social media, radio, meet-ups and public forums.
There are many organizations working on climate change, oil and gas issues, clean energy, public health, education, child welfare, and tribal rights issue in New Mexico. CAVU’s Unearthed initiative is designed to bring these organizations together and broaden the reach of these programs by adding capacity to the efforts already underway.
The goal of this interactive campaign is to create a table of conversation for disparate views, which will promote dialogue, broaden perspectives, and deepen understanding of these complicated issues. Ultimately the webinars will drive at developing bipartisan policy solutions and suggestions for the state.