Oil field companies pay close attention to potential president's energy proposals
Politicians' proposed petroleum energy policies have oil field companies waiting around

By Denise Marquez / CJ 475 Reporter
Posted Oct. 25, 2012

Since the 2008 recession, oil field companies have been booming in production, but with the election year some have slowed down production to see what candidates have in store for U.S. petroleum energy.

Opinions on proposed energy policies
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By Denise Marquez

Oil field company owners and economics professor discuss the presidential candidates' proposed policies on energy.

"There's uncertainty associated with an election, you don't know who's gonna win," said Melissa Binder, an economics undergraduate director and associate professor at the University of New Mexico. "Depending on who wins there might be really different policies that come about."

The Mitt Romney campaign has leaned on a "drill baby drill" policy where more federal lands would be open for drilling, offshore areas for energy development would be opened and the Keystone XL pipeline would be approved. It's pursuing an energy independence of North America by 2020.

"Our current president is not wanting to be energy dependent," said Larry Gandy, co-owner of Gandy Corp. "To have our country's energy independence is extremely important to me, because we are not relying upon our foreign countries on what we need to stabilize our country."

The Barack Obama campaign is pushing for a green energy policy hoping to gain energy independence through a number of resources rather than just relying on a few.

"It just seems common sense that you'd want to switch from a form of energy that, although is very cheap it's non-renewable, and it creates a lot of pollution," Professor Binder said. "I think that one of the areas in which the United States is falling behind is in pursuing clean energy in solar and all this stuff."

Jon Gandy, co-owner of Gandy Corp., hopes that clean energy can be developed but does not feel it will happen in the near future. "A lot of it is not profitable, it's just absolutely not profitable for green energy," he said. "We're just going to have to rely on oil and gas until someone recognizes something."

New Mexico's oil prices have recovered from a $50-$60 range during the final months of 2009 to a range of $70-$100 per barrel in 2011, based on a report prepared for Brothers and Co. The report also states New Mexico ranks seventh in total U.S. production of crude oil and the percent of total rigs account for 4 percent in the country. The oil and gas industry has created a total of 29,177 jobs in New Mexico in 2011.

"Southeast New Mexico is predominantly oil and gas related," Larry Gandy said. "Even a job at a grocery store or sacking groceries or a convenient store is reliant upon the amount of oil field workers that work."

With two radical differences in proposals from the presidential candidates, it makes sense why some oil field companies have slowed down their productions. Many oil field companies have been in support of the Romney campaign, due to his proposed energy policies. Binder suggested that the new policies, the economy and unemployment have turned this election into a toss up.

"I think that the Obama administration miscalculated how effective their stimulus would be," she said. "By now they were projecting that the economy would really be in good shape and it's not, so that's definitely been a problem for them."