Following Monday’s announcement that Intrepid Potash would be idling operations at its West mine in Carlsbad, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) is calling on the federal government to focus on strengthening local economies.
Intrepid announced Monday it would be cutting more than 300 jobs as a result of its planned scale-back despite stating in a release the West mine produced 42 percent of the company’s potash last year. Intrepid officials cited a drop in prices for muriate of potash as the primary reason for the idle.
“Here in New Mexico, we rely on a variety of ways to sustain our way of life,” Pearce said in a statement issued Wednesday. “In order for our diverse economic engine to function, every aspect of our economy, from our national parks, tourism, manufacturing, to our natural resources must fire on all cylinders.”
On July 8, the mine will enter care and maintenance mode, under which a limited number of staff will be retained. Intrepid stated that, should the market improve significantly, it would reactivate operations in Carlsbad.
“Economic conditions surrounding potash, oil, and the natural gas economies are consistently evolving and demonstrate why our community cannot solely rely on these resources to prosper,” said Pearce. “With the announcement that 300 hardworking New Mexicans will soon be looking for work, the federal government should focus on utilizing resources to strengthen the local economy, not creating another bureaucratic hurdle.”