Legislators ask Martinez to link drilling with funding

Posted at: 02/15/2013 1:51 PM
By: The Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez
Gov. Susana Martinez

 LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) - Dozens of New Mexico legislators want Gov. Susana Martinez to link approval of state funding for projects proposed by counties and municipalities to their willingness to allow drilling for gas and oil.

According to the Las Vegas Optic, 30 members of the 70-member House of Representatives signed the Feb. 6 letter.

One of the signers is Hobbs Republican Donald Bratton, the House Republican leader. He says he doesn't know who drafted the letter but says it reflects his views.

The letter says unwillingness of communities to allow drilling reduces state tax collections that provide funding for capital outlay projects.

Las Vegas environmental activist Pat Leahan says the letter sounds like "veiled blackmail."

The governor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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