OIL AND GAS LOYALTY AWARD CEREMONY FOOTAGE RELEASED YOUTH CHALLENGE GOVERNOR TO PROVE THAT SHE DOESN’T DESERVE AN OIL & GAS LOYALTY AWARD
SANTA FE, NM: Northern New Mexico youth leaders of YUCCA (Youth United for Climate Crisis Action) released footage and the transcript from the “Oil and Gas Associates Award Ceremony held for Governor Lujan Grisham” on Saturday April 10, 2021.
In a Yes Men style hijinks, actors gathered on Saturday to play out an awards ceremony that - while fictional in nature - included an award presentation script based entirely on facts. The presentation highlighted Michelle Lujan Grisham’s deference and collaboration with industry and her work to seek a waiver from the Biden administration’s federal fracking lease ban as the most recent example of the oil and gas industry’s stranglehold on New Mexico politics.
Just as the Yes Men have used satirical yet sincere culture jamming to “disrupt dominant corporate discourses, open spaces of freedom, and encourage critical self-reflection,” YUCCA orchestrated the awards ceremony in order to point out the contradictions between the administration’s environmental rhetoric and her actions to protect fossil fuel interests. “Everything about the awards ceremony was both satirical but scarily believable -- because the content was based on facts -- 1) the role industry is playing in writing our public policies like the Methane Rule, the Produced Water Act, etc), 2) the financial contributions they make to both political parties to influence the elections, (we pulled the number for the check from this report) 3) the fact that under a Democratic Governor who espouses her commitment to climate change, at a time when the majority of New Mexicans have said they want to transition our economy away from oil and gas dependence, we saw RECORD levels of oil and gas extraction in NM in 2020!
We wanted to show that even though “Oil and Gas Associates” is a spoof on the NM Oil and Gas Association with its CEO Flynn Ryanson -- the whole thing wasn’t very far from our reality at all. When Lujan-Grisham has literally told the industry at the NMOGA annual conference in 2019 that her administration was going to “work for them,” and the NM legislature with its Democratic majority did NOTHING to hold industry accountable or address the climate emergency in the 2021 session - an oil and gas loyalty award seems pretty appropriate.
As the Award ceremony was being shot, a 100% real protest was held at the Governor’s Mansion.
Youth organizers from the YUCCA network, Fight For Our Lives, NM Climate Justice, and UNM-LEAF shared outrage at the cozy relationship between oil and gas industry and the current administration citing the industry’s corrupting influence on the state’s failure to take sufficient action to reduce the rate of fossil fuel extraction in the state, make headway toward carbon emissions reduction targets, or protect New Mexican’s land, water, and public health from the dangers of polluting industry.
New Mexicans don’t want an exemption but rather want, need, and demand that our Governor advocate for just transition investments from the federal government to support New Mexico and other oil producing states’ to shift revenue streams and keep fossil fuels in the ground in order to stay within the 1.5 degree mark that scientists have said is necessary to mitigate the effects of catastrophic climate disruption. Youth activists reminded Lujan Grisham that she was elected by New Mexicans, not oil and gas companies, and should be heeding the calls of her constituents to embrace opportunities to transition our economy If she truly is “dead set against allowing climate change to bring about the next public health crisis” as she has claimed.
Contact Governor Lujan Grisham and tell her office that New Mexicans Support the Federal Fracking Ban. We don't want an exemption on this federal measure, we want accountability and action on the local level.
Call: (505) 476-2200
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