There were several world events which had a deep, lasting impact on New Mexico. A democratic movement in Eastern Europe that caused the fall of one communist regime after another, detente, and disarmament treaties all made their impact felt on New Mexico.
The reduction in nuclear weapons, coupled with the 1979 disaster at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, cut demand for uranium that was mined in New Mexico. Grants faced a sudden bust. The call for new weapons developed at the Los Alamos and Sandia national labs was questioned. Rumors flew about that air bases might be closed. New Mexico's over dependence on federal government projects and spending became increasingly evident.
New Mexico's reliance on its oil and gas industry was also clear. Competition with foreign oil producers and fluctuations in the world market caused economic instability in towns like Hobbs and Farmington. The state government suffered whenever oil and gas production declined. Some things haven't changed much since.
Taken from New Mexico Magazine.