New Mexico’s Oil Boom Is Dividing A Region Known As ‘Little Texas’ From The Rest Of The State

The state budget depends on oil revenue, but conservatives in the oil patch say they don’t see the benefits in return.

By Alexandra HartOctober 29, 2019 12:15 pm,

Oil production in southeastern New Mexico is an important part of that state’s economy. But those living and working in that region – known as “Little Texas” – aren’t exactly happy about that, especially as more and more money generated from the Permian Basin oil boom gets disbursed elsewhere. Now, some locals say, half-jokingly, that they’d rather be part of Texas – only miles to the east – than deal with their Democrat-controlled Statehouse in Santa Fe. 

Simon Romero is a national correspondent for The New York Times based in Albuquerque. He says New Mexico’s state budget depends on revenue from the oil industry. 

“[New Mexico] ranks among the poorest states in the country, and it relies heavily on oil revenues to pay teachers, to buy school supplies, to keep the heat on in schools during the winter.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Why those in Little Texas are unhappy with how New Mexico manages oil revenue

– Why oil revenue is important for the state

– Whether New Mexico is prepared for the boom and bust cycle of oil production

– How the oil boom has brought new wealth to southeastern New Mexico


Written by Libby Cohen and Caroline Covington.