Kenley McQueen confirmed as New Mexico energy secretary

By The Associated Press

Former oil and natural gas industry executive Ken McQueen has been confirmed to lead New Mexico's Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources.

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Former oil and natural gas industry executive Ken McQueen has been confirmed to lead New Mexico's Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources.

The state Senate voted 32-4 to confirm the appointment from Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

McQueen has overseen since mid-December an agency with about 415 employees across the state that regulates everything from private oil well operations to forestry practices, wildfire preparedness, and coal and copper mines.

McQueen previously served as vice president of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based natural gas and oil producer WPX Energy and has managed the company's assets in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

Lawmakers have praised McQueen's technical knowledge about the oil and gas development. A Senate panel peppered the nominee with questions about his approach to environmental regulation.

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