By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Tired of layoffs and losses resulting from depressed energy prices, royalty owners and drillers in the nation's most prolific oil-producing area are embarking on a grass-roots campaign aimed at salvaging a major sector of the U.S. economy.
Their target: foreign oil imports.
The effort launched with forums this week in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, home to the Permian Basin.
Supporters are pushing for the next president of the United States to issue a proclamation setting quotas for imports - something that hasn't been done in more than four decades.
Oil fell in the past two years from above $100 a barrel to touch 12-year lows under $30 a barrel earlier this year. Quota supporters blame Middle East producers for flooding the market and fueling the price war.