Rep. Xochitl Torres Small is Out of Step With Her District

Last month the American Energy Alliance released its 2020 American Energy Scorecard results for the House of Representatives.  The AEA scorecard scores voting and co-sponsorship decisions on legislation affecting energy and environmental policy, educating voters on how their representatives vote and holding members accountable for those decisions.  

The scorecard is guided by principles such as: 

  • Promoting affordable, abundant, and reliable energy
  • Expanding economic opportunity and prosperity, particularly for working families and those on fixed incomes
  • Giving Americans, not Washington bureaucrats, the power to make their own energy choices
  • Encouraging private sector innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Advancing market-oriented energy and environment policies
  • Reducing the role of government in energy markets
  • Eliminating the subsidies, mandates, and special interest giveaways that lead to higher energy costs

This year’s scorecard compiled 19 votes and 2 co-sponsorship decisions from the 116th Congress.  74 House members achieved a 100% score.

While many members failed to achieve a perfect score for various reasons, the most concerning scores came from those representing districts where the energy industry is a major economic driver and job creator.  One of these members is Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, whose New Mexico 2nd Congressional District covers the southern half of New Mexico. The district includes New Mexico’s portion of the Permian Basin, which has seen a boom in oil and gas production over the last several years. Since 2012, New Mexico oil production has increased 250%, with New Mexico now the third largest oil producing state.  The production increase has resulted in about $800 million in new revenue for the state because of Permian oil production on state lands. A recent report found oil and gas supports 134,000 jobs in New Mexico, 12% of all jobs in the state, and the industry represents almost 16% of the state’s economy.

Given the importance of energy to her state, Rep. Torres Small’s score is shocking.  She did not just score poorly.  Her 0% score placed her at the bottom of the body along with extreme anti-energy members like Green New Deal creator Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Rep. Torres Small is clearly out of step with her constituents in the 2th district.  That might pass in New York City, but in an energy state like New Mexico this record is unacceptable.

It also cannot be considered an accident.  AEA notifies all members in advance of votes that will be scored.  A member disagreeing with AEA’s position on one or two votes might be understandable, but Rep. Torres Small shows a consistent record of votes harming the American energy industry and consumers alike.  Her record of voting against the interests of her constituents should be on the mind of every voter in 2020.

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