LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The 2013 Domenici Public Policy Conference kicked off Wednesday at the Las Cruces Convention Center with discussions on energy as well as policy in China.
The conference named after now retired U.S. Senator Pete Domenici gathers some of the foremost experts to tackle current public policy issues.
The afternoon speakers focused on energy policy with discussion from the former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
"We are on a trend where we will actually be able to import less and less of our oil from foreign countries," Salazar said.
He said the United States has reached an all-time high in natural gas production as well as a 10-year high on oil production on public lands.
He added the Gulf of Mexico is the fastest growing off-shore market for oil production in the world.
"We are at a good time in the United States of America," Salazar said.
Salazar said there's also been a lot of progress made in recent years in renewable energy.
Since 2008, renewable energy has doubled with solar panels dropping in cost by 60 percent and even a 50 percent spike in homes installing new solar power systems.
The conference continues Thursday with discussions on healthcare reform, policy challenges in the Middle East, and Governor Susana Martinez will address issues at the state level.