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New Mexico Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D) said at an Axios event Tuesday that diversifying New Mexico's economy will create "homegrown" opportunities, providing a different type of job security for workers who rely on oil and gas industries.

Why it matters: Politicians have sparred over environmental justice and its impact on workers in the oil and gas industries. But even major oil and gas producers across the U.S. are making changes now, Luján said, which means New Mexico needs to move fast about planning for the future.

What he's saying: "There's not a person I've spoken to in New Mexico that doesn't agree that we have to diversify our economy," he told Axios' Russ Contreras when asked how he can ensure that Hispanic workers aren't left behind in the move toward environmental justice.

  • "It pertains to the future and being innovative, not just with diversifying our economy, but diversifying how we're going to generate power, how we're going to move people, how we're going to provide electricity and connectivity to homes," he said.
  • "We need to be smart about our planning in New Mexico because if we don't, these other changes by the majors with the oil and gas and also the big auto manufacturers — it's going to leave New Mexico behind and hurt us in the long run," he added.
  • "And I believe manufacturing and getting into supply chains with Fortune 500 entities is going to be one of those paths forward."

The big picture: New Mexico recently instituted new rules to address methane leaks.

  • "Those are job opportunities right on the horizon, coupled with manufacturing," Luján noted. "I know we can get there and especially once we connect New Mexico, it'll only attract more opportunities to our state, including those that will be homegrown."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, are among the buildings damaged.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

3 killed, 2 wounded overnight in Kenosha bar shooting

Three people died and two others were hospitalized with serious injuries after a gunman entered bar in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, the police department said in a statement on Sunday.

The latest: Officers arrested a "person of interest" Sunday afternoon in connection with the 12:42 a.m. shooting and there's "no threat to the community at this time," per a later police statement.

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

Big European soccer teams announce breakaway league

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) after striking the ball during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Liverpool F.C. and Real Madrid at Anfield in Liverpool, England, last Wednesday. Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

12 of world soccer's biggest and richest clubs announced Sunday they've formed a breakaway European "Super League" — with clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona Real Madrid, Juventus and A.C. Milan among those to sign up.

Why it matters: The prime ministers of the U.K. and Italy are among those to express concern at the move — which marks a massive overhaul of the sport's structure and finances, and it effectively ends the decades-old UEFA Champions League's run as the top tournament for European soccer.