FARMINGTON – New Mexico has been allocated $579 million from the U.S. Department of the Interior for revenues generated in energy production on federal and American Indian lands, according to a department press release.
New Mexico ranks second in the nation in terms of disbursements, following Wyoming’s $1 billion.
The disbursement includes revenues from American Indian lands.
Nationally, American Indian tribes were allocated more than $1 billion, and states combined to received $13.4 billion in revenue.
Patrick Etchart, spokesman for the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, said the revenue sharing is part of the Mineral Leasing Act.
According to the office’s data, companies paid about $1.19 billion in revenue sharing in 2014. The state’s and tribe’s share is about 49 percent, Etchart said.
Etcahrt said the office doesn’t have information regarding the amount tribes and allottees receive because they are treated as sovereign entities.
Efforts to reach Navajo Nation representatives for comment on this story were unsuccessful.
Wally Drangmiester, spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, said the money is important to the state.
“It’s a very, very important part of funding the government in the state of New Mexico,” he said in a telephone interview.
S.U. Mahesh, spokesman for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, said he hadn’t heard of the money being disbursed to the state.
In 2013, New Mexico generated about $1.05 billion in energy revenue.
In January, the New Mexico Tax Research Institute released a study stating that oil and gas revenues generate about 31.5 percent of the state’s general fund.
The study included gross receipts tax, property taxes and other alternative forms of revenue generated by the production of oil and gas.
The money disbursed to the state from the Department of Interior includes revenues from oil, gas, coal, and other energy generating minerals.
“Revenue generated from developing public energy resources that belong to all Americans helps fund critical investments in communities across the United States and creates American jobs, fosters land and water conservation efforts, improves critical infrastructure, and supports education,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, in a press release.
“This year’s disbursements continue to reflect significant energy production from public and tribal lands in the United States,” she said.
Erny Zah is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4638 and email@example.com.
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