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Friday, August 05, 2011

Sierra Club Endorses Martin Heinrich for U.S. Senate

MartinHeinrichGreatOutdoorsCr
Heinrich at Interior Dept. Great Outdoors event in ABQ

This morning, the Sierra Club announced its endorsement of Martin Heinrich in his race for the United States Senate in a conference call with media that featured Rep. Heinrich, Sierra Club leaders and State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino -- a long-time supporter of Rep. Heinrich and his work on environmentak and conservation issues -- who has endorsed his candidacy. The organization has a strong presence in New Mexico with more than 8,000 members in the Rio Grande Chapter.

"The possibility of having Martin Heinrich in the U.S. Senate is very exciting, and it makes me want to speak as loudly and long as possible about his fine environmental record, said Sen. Ortiz y Pino. "The endorsement by the Sierra Club is very exciting. What it means for Martin to have the Sierra Club's backing in this way will be immeasurable -- the number of volunteers on the streets, knocking on doors, the word of mouth, the strong message that it sends about his positions on environmental issues. All of these are just fantastically important to his campaign."

"I've known Martin for about 14 years, ever since I started working in former Mayor Jim Baca's administration in Albuquerque," Ortiz y Pino continues. "I've been able to watch him over those years and when he became a city councilor and worked on the Planned Growth Strategy, when he was the state national resources conservator, and then in Congress. He's always been a very strong advocate for environmental protections, air and water, for making the best possible decisions to use the planet's resources in a way that is sustainable."

Congressman Heinrich chimed in and said, "I'm really excited and want to just say thank you for the endorsement. The Sierra Club has been an incredible ally in New Mexico in terms of getting kids outside, fighting for clean energy and fighting for our public lands, which is one of the great things about living and representing a place like New Mexico. Living here you see what's at stake all around you You see it in places like the Valles Caldera National Preserve, in the Petroglyphs National Monument on the West Side, the incredible Sandia Mountains just to east of Albuquerque and our public lands all over the state."

"And the Sierra Club has, time and time again, been a very powerful ally in trying to protect those places and move toward an energy future that really makes sense for our country," Heinrich said. "And at a time when we're really kind of seeing the worst environmental attacks since the Gingrich revolution of 1994, it makes me feel good that the Sierra Club's got my back when I'm fighting for stronger environmental policies, not weaker ones."

After the call, the Sierra Club and Heinrich campaign also released statements about the endorsement:

"Throughout his career, Martin Heinrich has been an indispensable ally to those who champion the preservation of our natural environments and has proven time and again that he won’t back down to the polluters who wish to tear down decades of sound environmental policy,” John Buchser, chair of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, said. Robin Mann, president of the Sierra Club added, "Martin is exactly what New Mexico needs in the Senate –- someone who has the practical experience and know-how to get things done. Martin understands that New Mexico's future depends on ensuring our communities enjoy clean air and clean water, and building the clean energy economy that will bring new, good-paying jobs.”

As head of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Heinrich brought ranchers, Native American leaders and environmentalists together to win federal protection for more than 11,000 acres in the Ojito Wilderness, the Sierra Club pointed out. He served the state as Natural Resources Trustee, working to restore contaminated public lands using funds seized from environmental polluters.

Heinrich served on the Sierra Club's Rio Grande Chapter executive committee, combining his enthusiasm for nature with his commitment to public service. He trekked thousands of miles across the Southwest as a guide and as executive director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, an environmental education and outdoors program for youth.

The Sierra Club pointed out that, during his time on the Albuquerque City Council and as a Member of Congress, Heinrich has never veered from his support for environmental protection. Martin has a track record of supporting policies that reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and pollute our air, and holding the polluters accountable under the Clean Air Act. Serving his second term on the House Committee on Natural Resources, Martin works tirelessly to protect New Mexico’s abundant natural resources and treasured public lands.

"I’m honored to have the support of an organization so important to protecting the land we live on, the air we breathe and the water we drink," said Martin Heinrich. “Together we've made progress in the audacious challenge of reversing climate change and jumpstarting our economy with clean energy jobs. In New Mexico, we understand the potential for clean energy to put people back to work. Through American ingenuity and the right policies we can unleash the full potential of this growing industry and protect our precious natural resources for generations to come.”

"As a member of Congress, Representative Heinrich has been an outstanding environmental champion during a period in which environmental issues faced steep and vicious opposition from well funded corporate opponents," said Sierra Club President Robin Mann. "The Sierra Club proudly throws its weight behind Martin Heinrich's candidacy for U.S. Senate."

The Sierra Club said Heinrich has been an important leader on social justice issues of concern to the organization and other environmental advocates. He is a tireless job creator who understands that the road to a revitalized economy starts with clean energy jobs.

"Martin Heinrich has sponsored legislation that helps create the next generation of young environmental leaders, and he has shown a strong desire to get families and young people outside -– playing, learning and working," said Kristina Ortez de Jones with the Sierra Club in New Mexico.

Nationwide, Heinrich is the Sierra Club's first endorsement of the 2012 federal election cycle. The Sierra Club indicated it will mobilize its more than 1.4 million members and supporters nationwide -– including nearly 8,000 in New Mexico –- to support endorsed candidates who have demonstrated pro-environmental records and platforms.

To see more posts on the 2012 Senate race in New Mexico, visit our archive.

Photo by M.E. Broderick.

August 5, 2011 at 11:37 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Energy, Environment, Green Economy, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink

Comments

Great news about Martin's endorsement by Sierra Club -- how could they do otherwise, with his record?

Martin was the New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee (ONRT). Jim Baca had it before and after him, I think. The job is to administer windfalls the state gets from environmental lawsuits. It's a federally-mandated office, or she would probably eliminate it.

I just looked it up, and the Gov. has appointed her Environment Secretary, F. David Martin to this position. He specializes in getting more oil out of oilfields! Of course, the woman exec. director probably does the work.
http://www.onrt.state.nm.us/Trustees.html

Posted by: Michelle Meaders | Aug 5, 2011 1:25:42 PM

I'm all for the Sierra Club's goal to end the production of electricity by burning coal. Unfortunately, the Sierra Club has recently demonstrated its hypocrisy when it comes to wind energy.

On Aug 3rd, the LA Times reported that six Golden Eagles had been killed by wind turbines in a two-year-old wind farm operated by the LA Department of Power and Water. (You know, the same DPW that ransacked the Owens Valley watershed.) http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wind-eagles-20110803,0,2891547.story

We're not talking about the low-to-the-ground, high-rpm wind turbines originally installed in places like the Altamonte Pass and Palm Springs. These are modern, slowly rotating wind turbines that are not supposed to be "Cuisinarts of the Air". http://www.masterresource.org/category/windpower/cuisinarts-of-the-air/

If these eagles had been killed by any other industrial facility, the Sierra Club and other groups dedicated to the protection of wildlife would be screaming for huge fines and/or immediate plant shutdowns. If an individual had shot just one Golden Eagle, people would be screaming for his/her head.

Instead, not a single press release decrying the "taking" of these eagles. Nada, zip, squat. Only Audubon is (and has been) advocating immediate action be taken. Instead, the wind turbines will continue to spin while the problem is "studied". (BTW, yesterday was the close of the public comment period on USFWS' Wind Energy "Guidelines". http://www.fws.gov/windenergy/ )

Posted by: Paul Lindsey | Aug 5, 2011 2:27:14 PM

Grasping at straws again eh Paul? Yes because a wind turbine killed some golden eagles, the Sierra Club consists of hypocrites who don't care about nature and thus everything they stand for is questionable. These new ways to produce energy are in their relative infancy and the mechanisms will continue to be refined to make events like the eagle incident less likely to occur. Perhaps you should look at your own hypocrisy in constantly pushing for "safe" nuclear energy. I guess Japan and Germany have come to a different conclusion.

Posted by: Science Guy | Aug 5, 2011 3:56:05 PM

My point is the hypocrisy demonstrated by the Sierra Club, just because the industrial activity is a wind farm. Other wind advocates try to compare raptor deaths to birds killed by house cats and birds that fly into buildings. It's like saying an endangered tiger death is nothing to worry about; just look at all the feral house cat deaths.

Wind is a "can't get there from here" energy source. Here's a look at Texas' wind output in the middle of the current heat wave. As stated in the blog entry, mind the scales. (It's not the blogger's fault; it's ERCOT's own chart.)
http://uvdiv.blogspot.com/2011/08/texas-electric-grid-declares-level-1.html

Germany will be very interesting, for two reasons: (1) they are going to be forced to buy NG from Gazprom, with the current NG prices 2.5 times that of the US,
http://atomicinsights.com/2011/07/gazprom-profiting-mightily-from-german-nuclear-exit.html
and (2) They can always buy nuclear-generated electricity from France. Here's Dr. Barry Brook's take on Germany:
http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/07/29/germany-gee/

While you're there, you can read Dr. James Hansen's treatise on drinking the sustainable energy koolaid: http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/08/05/hansen-energy-kool-aid/

Japan is going to be interesting too: NG already costs 3 times the US price: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-29/quake-hit-japan-s-lng-volumes-drop-as-costs-climb-on-crude-1-.html
I predict that they will restart the reactors that are currently shutdown. Neither Onogawa nor Fukushima Daini, the closest NPPs to Fukushima Daiichi, suffered any major damage. In any case, using the performance of a 40 year old reactor built at sea level in a tsunami-prone area to evaluate whether we should build new designs is like basing your decision to buy a new Mustang on the 1968 model, or your decision to fly on the performance of the De Havilland Comet.

In closing, too bad the "Science Guy" doesn't have a real name. Maybe he's like Robert Alvarez of the Inst for Policy Studies, with a major in musical studies.

Posted by: Paul Lindsey | Aug 5, 2011 5:07:35 PM

It's too bad Paul Lindsey feels compelled and justified in taking over any thread on clean energy he can find in order to push his right wing ideologies and fill the comment thread with links.

This thread is about the endorsement of Martin Heinrich, not about wind farms and their problems.

Posted by: Will | Aug 5, 2011 5:21:55 PM

"Taking over any thread on clean energy" and "This thread is about the endorsement .."

Which is it?

Which "right wing ideology" am I pushing?
This one: http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/
or this one: http://davidwalters.dailykos.com/
or this one:
http://bravenewclimate.com/
or this one: http://atomicinsights.com/

I could continue.

Hint: none of those are "right wing". What they are all sites that say that if you desire to take coal (and NG for electricty generation) out of the picture, you're going to have to do it something that works, not wishful thinking.

Posted by: Paul Lindsey | Aug 5, 2011 5:44:27 PM

Big endorsement for Rep. Heinrich! This will mean a lot of boots on the ground and small donations that add up. I think they picked the right candidate. Martin's record on environmental and conservation issues is impeccable.

Posted by: Sharon | Aug 5, 2011 5:54:26 PM

Kudos to Rep Heinrich! But dont forget that Hector Balderas' environmental record is also impeccable (see his Feb 2011 CVNM Sunshine Award, for starters). The fact is that we have 2 friends of the environment running for senate!

Posted by: Diana | Aug 5, 2011 11:18:30 PM