NM joins western states natural gas expansion, use plan

By Western States and Tribal Nations Natural Gas Initiative | November 19, 2019

The State of New Mexico is the newest member of Western States and Tribal Nations (WSTN) natural gas initiative, adding a strong advocate for the power of responsible, environmentally sound energy production to boost rural economies.

WSTN is a unique international initiative led by sovereign tribal nations, states and counties, and demonstrates that seeking a balance between energy and environmental goals can be a bipartisan effort.

“The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department is pleased to represent New Mexico today in joining the Western States and Tribal Nations initiative,” Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst said. “Supporting rural economic development in New Mexico is a priority for this administration and we look forward to working with this diverse coalition to find new markets for our energy.”

WSTN advocates for rural economic development, tribal self-determination and a cleaner environment by supporting Asian export market development for liquefied natural gas sourced from producing basins in western North America, as well as efforts to build the infrastructure to connect those basins to the export supply chain.

“The unique configuration and membership of WSTN, an organization founded and led by sovereign tribal nations, states and counties, gives it an authority that transcends many typical energy discussions because its purpose is elevated by the goals and the environmental stewardship of its members – the western governments,” said Andrew Browning of Western States and Tribal Nations.

New Mexico’s joining creates the potential for other export avenues for the San Juan and Permian basins, especially after the State of Baja California, Mexico, became part of WSTN in August. Already, WSTN is pursuing export options for the Piceance and Uinta basins in Colorado and Utah, and Wyoming’s Green River basin.

Baja California is supporting plans to build LNG export capacity on its Pacific coast, with an eye on growing Asian markets that want to replace higher-emitting fuel sources with a stable, long-term LNG supply. WSTN is also supporting the proposed Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, which has a similar aim.