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Oil Shock Upends State That Had Become Shale’s Newest Powerhouse

  • New Mexico legislature slashes state spending on oil cutbacks
  • ‘We were just starting to stand on two legs’ when pandemic hit
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Resurgence of Virus Outbreak in China Darkens Oil Demand Outlook

As Covid-19 shock waves reverberate across U.S. oil towns, perhaps nowhere is their speed and severity more apparent than in America’s newest shale powerhouse.

Just months ago, New Mexico, the third-biggest producer of U.S. oil, approved the state’s largest budget ever, paid for by an oil boom that made up 40% of the state’s revenues in 2019. Now that plan has been slashed by more than $600 million, affecting everything from pay raises for state workers to a program designed to provide free community college to state residents.