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Friday, September 28, 2012

Karen Montoya, the Democratic Candidate for PRC

DFNM_Ad_2 - like signsKaren Montoya, the Democratic candidate for PRC (Public Regulation Commission) in District 1 is a 14th generation New Mexican, a mother of two daughters and has two beautiful grandchildren.

Bernalillo County Assessor Montoya was elected to her second term in 2010 and is the first woman to hold this office.

Karen's top priority is to restore integrity to the PRC and to protect hard working New Mexican's against unfair and unwarranted rate hikes on energy, phone, gas and insurance-while protecting the environment.

Karen-1-192x300Karen believes the science of global warming is clear. She is concerned about those who would un-do the renewable energy standards that are in place -standards vital to protecting New Mexico as well as the Earth's climate. The opportunity to make New Mexico a leader in renewable energy such as solar, bio-mass and wind will be good for both our environment and our economy creating hundreds of good paying jobs.

The record of saving taxpayers money through her support of “Tax Lightning” as County Assessor reflects Karen’s attitude of fighting for the citizens of New Mexico. Karen’s opponent with his lack of experience and anti-renewable statements- has made the choice very clear.

In endorsing Karen Montoya for the PRC, Commissioner Jason Marks stated “Karen Montoya has got what it takes to be an effective PRC Commissioner for District 1. Karen will fight against excessive utility rate increases, and she'll promote renewable energy. I'm proud to endorse Karen Montoya to succeed me on the PRC.”

September 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM in 2012 NM PRC Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Mexico Public Regulations Commission passes Inmate Phone Resolution to the FCC

Media literacyFollowing is from the Media Literacy Project

Another victory in an eventful week of prison justice work in New Mexico and nationwide

On the heels of a historic meeting and passage of a prison phone rates resolution to the Federal Communications Commission, New Mexico can be proud that the Public Regulations Commission made a statement on behalf of New Mexican families today.

The New Mexico Public Regulations Commission (PRC) passed an inmate phone resolution requesting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) take action on the Wright Petition (Docket 96-128) to protect consumers of inmate telephone services. Commissioner Jason A. Marks initiated discussion and action on the resolution by putting it on the agenda at today’s Open Meeting.

This comes less than 24 hours after an historic meeting between the name sake and plaintiff of the petition, 87 year-old Martha Wright, and the FCC in Washington, DC. In the nine years since this case was first filed against the Corrections Corporation of America, yesterday was the first time Wright had an opportunity to share her personal story with the FCC in person. This long overdue meeting was facilitated by the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice and Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Met), of which Media Literacy Project is the New Mexico anchor organization.

Momentum has been building since Friday, when the Consumer Advisory Committee to the FCC (which includes Mag-Net members Media Literacy Project, Native Public Media, and Center for Media Justice) passed a prison phone rates resolution to protect the families of inmates from predatory practices.

Some phone companies get away with as much as $15 for a 15 minute call in American jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers. This burden rests on the families of America's roughly 2.3 million inmates. This practice does not only harm the inmates and their families that are struggling economically; it hurts communities. In 2010 Congress was briefed on the impact that familial communication and connectivity has on recidivism.

Though New Mexico is one of nine (including the District of Columbia) states that does not receive “kickbacks” from phone companies that profit off of exorbitant prison phone rates, we do have families with loved ones incarcerated in faraway states.

PRC Commissioner Marks said all of the commissioners were extremely supportive. “We were all in agreement,” said Marks. “They were all like, ‘Well, there shouldn’t be fees like that. Maybe, at most, some sort of percentage would be fair.’”

Media Literacy Project Executive Director Andrea Quijada emphasizes the impact of the PRC’s resolution. “In a state where thousands of our loved ones are incarcerated,” says Quijada. ”Media Literacy Project applauds our Public Regulation Commission’s effort to keep our families strong and connected.”

Read the NM PRC resolution in its entirety at the bottom of the MLP press release at our website.

September 28, 2012 at 09:17 AM in Prisons, Corrections, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: Salazar Dedicates Two National Wildlife Refuges in New Mexico

Valle de Oro and Rio Mora Become Nation’s 559th and 560th Refuges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today dedicated the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, making it the first urban refuge in the Southwest and one of a handful across the nation. Salazar was joined by Senator Jeff Bingaman, Representative Martin Heinrich, Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz, and other local stakeholders and partners, including the Trust for Public Land.

Later today, Salazar will travel to Wind River Ranch near Mora, N.M. for a signing ceremony establishing the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area on over 4,200 acres donated by the Thaw Charitable Trust.

“Today we celebrate two new jewels in the National Wildlife Refuge System -- Valle de Oro, an urban oasis for people and wildlife just five miles from downtown Albuquerque, and Rio Mora, which will serve as an anchor for cooperative conservation efforts in the Rio Mora watershed,” Salazar said. “Both refuges exemplify the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative to establish a 21st century conservation ethic built on partnerships and to fuel economic growth in local communities.”

The refuges established today are expected to help generate economic growth and support jobs in New Mexico by attracting visitors and encouraging outdoor recreation. Recreation in refuges, national parks and other public lands alone led to nearly $55 billion in economic contribution and 440,000 jobs in 2009. A 2011 comprehensive national survey of outdoor recreation showed a significant increase in hunters and anglers over the past five years, with hunters nationwide increasing by 9 percent while anglers grew by 11 percent. Nearly 38 percent of all Americans participated in wildlife-related recreation in 2011 and spent $145 billion on related gear, trips and other purchases, such as licenses, tags and land leasing and ownership, representing 1 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Proposed exactly one year ago, the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge was formally established last Friday through the acquisition of 390 acres of Valley Gold Farms, a former dairy and hay farm. The 559th unit of the national wildlife refuge system is within a 30-minute drive of half of New Mexico’s population, providing ample outdoor recreation and education opportunities. Salazar unveiled the official name for the refuge today, Valle de Oro (Valley of Gold), which was selected following a social media campaign that solicited suggested names from local and national audiences.

“I’d like to thank Secretary Salazar, county officials and city leaders for making the establishment of a wildlife refuge in Albuquerque a priority. Bringing this land into public ownership will give residents and visitors alike access to a beautiful natural space right here in our state’s largest city,” Bingaman said. "The creation of the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is also great news for New Mexico. This new refuge gives New Mexicans and tourists another great reason to visit the northern part of our state, helping to support those local economies.”

The Service intends to work with its partners to restore native Bosque forest on the refuge and establish recreation and environmental education programs for area residents. The site may also provide demonstration areas for sustainable agriculture.

“The Valle De Oro is an urban refuge where citizens and students will have easy access to learn and enjoy all this beautiful space has to offer," said Udall. "I'd like to thank President Obama and Secretary Salazar for all of their hard work to bring the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest to New Mexico, and for making the old Price's Dairy part of America's Great Outdoors initiative.”

“Too many kids get more television time than outdoor time, but this new wildlife refuge is our opportunity to change that,” said. Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-1). “This wildlife refuge will help New Mexico kids discover the incredible natural heritage of our state, and it represents an important investment in their health and well-being.”

“Bernalillo County is proud to have led the way on making this project a reality,” Commission Chair Art De La Cruz said. “By contributing $5 million and working closely with the community on this project, a fantastic national resource is now located in the heart of the South Valley. I look forward to new outdoor education and economic development opportunities that will impact our state as a result of this new refuge.”

In addition to the contribution from Bernalillo County, this first phase was made possible by $2 million from the Bureau of Reclamation, $1.8 million from the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority, $1.7 million from the Service, and $500,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the Walmart Acres for America Grant program.

Located in the heart of the Middle Rio Grande Valley, the new refuge is an important stop-over site for migrating migratory birds such as sand hill cranes, snow geese, and duck species.

Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land, said, "We are thrilled to help residents of the South Valley gain access to close-to-home green space. We have completed the purchase of the first 390 acres of Price's Dairy, and this will turn the Valle de Oro Urban Wildlife Refuge into a reality. We look forward to completing this wonderful project with the help of the partners and supporters who have been with us from the start."

The Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area, which Salazar will establish as the 560th unit of the refuge system today, is located in the transition zone between the Great Plains and the Southern Rocky Mountains. The Mora River flows through the center of the refuge for approximately five miles in a 250-300-foot deep canyon.

The establishment of the refuge and conservation area is a continuation of the vision of philanthropist Eugene V. Thaw and his wife Clare E. Thaw who bought the Wind River Ranch in 1980 with the intent of protecting and restoring the land as a representative piece of southwestern ecological heritage.

“The transfer of Wind River Ranch to the ownership of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seems the perfect solution for this strategically located piece of land and its important stretch of the Mora River,” said Eugene Thaw. “We hope that this transfer will serve as the catalyst for a new era in range management, wildlife studies and sustainable agriculture for this whole area of the Southwest. We are grateful to Secretary Salazar and his talented staff for seeing the great possibilities at Wind River for environmental protection, science and education.”

Inclusion of this important ranch and conservation area into the refuge system, coupled with the newly established Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area in Colorado, creates a wildlife corridor that will ensure protection and restoration of the Mora River watershed and one of the great prairie grassland landscapes of North America. It will benefit many grassland and woodland species, including the southwestern willow flycatcher.

The long term plan for the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge will include opportunities for the public to enjoy wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife watching, education, and hunting.

For more information on these two new refuges, please visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/

September 27, 2012 at 04:00 PM in Recreation/Open Space, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink | Comments (0)

10/03: Women Are Watching

You’re Invited to Join:  Women Are Watching 

Senator Eric Griego, Representative Bill O’Neill, Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins, Caroline Buerkle, Martha Burk, Reverend Jim Collie, Eloise Gift, Michael Hart, Donna Tillman, Christine Trujillo

for an evening in support of

Mary Ellen Broderick  Candidate for State House | New Mexico’s 30th House District

Marci Blaze Candidate for State House | New Mexico’s 23rd House District

Emily Kane Candidate for State House | New Mexico’s 15th House District

Elizabeth Thomson Candidate for State House | New Mexico’s 24th House District

Wednesday, October 3rd | 6:00pm – 9:00pm

6:00pm – Reception
7:00pm – Presidential Debate Watch

at The Home of Traci & Michael Cadigan
2705 Bosque Del Sol Ln NW | Albuquerque

Requested Contribution:
Host: $1,000 | Champion: $500 | Friend: $100 | Guest: $25

Kindly RSVP to Keep NM Blue PAC at [email protected] or (505) 890-4967

September 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM in 2012 Legislature Races, Candidates & Races, Events, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

9/28: EQNM Annual Turquoise Party (Friendly Reminder)

FRIENDLY REMINDER:
Equality New Mexico is our state's largest gay and lesbian civil rights organization with over 20,000 members across the Land of Enchantment.

On Friday, September 28th we will be hosting our annual Turquoise Party that last year brought together over 400 community members, business leaders, and public officials in support of our mission to build a better and more equal New Mexico.

EQ_Turq

 

September 26, 2012 at 04:31 PM in Events, GLBT Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Citizen's United" - by Hakim Bellamy

HakimHappy Birthday Occupy. You’ve changed me. Now, let’s change our country.

Citizen’s United – by hakim bellamy

If we kidnapped
THEIR children They would find us

If we put guns
In the hands of those young
They would tag them
“Child soldiers”

But here
We prefer to leave them
Clinically depressed
And decorate them in marine

There is a name
For people who will take
The very bread
Off of our dinner table
And put it in their pocket

They are toast
Like champagne flutes
Are the new silvers spoon

Like what they will be
When the revolutions
And the riots
Catch up with them

Tomorrow morning
When humanity
Has the munchies
And eats presidential candidates
For breakfast

When their war chest
Can fill the holes
In our country’s
Debt, deficit & addiction

But.
They’d rather
Raise money
To argue about it
Than raise sleeves
To fix it

Politicians are NOT people too,
Mitt LOOK AT YOU!

And they’re not Jesus either, Barrack
If you remember
He ran the moneychangers out of the temple
Not into his cabinet

If you remember
He was Guantanamo’s blueprint

He was no popularity contestant
He had no friend in the Pharaoh, Pharisees or FED
He told them
Where they could shove
Their opinion poll
And they hung him from it

Back in the day
When Romans used to lynch Jews
With perpendicular sticks

And you remember
They make sure you do

Cause from the dome of the United States Capitol
To the Pantheon bars of the White House
Boy,
They gon’ make sure that you know
Where Black people are supposed to live

Corinthian columns
At the halls of Congress
With no reparations
Or apologies

Depicting corn cobs
To symbolize
Our stolen bounty

Tobacco leaves
To symbolize
Our stolen “Help”

Our stolen wealth

If you remember
He did not run for office
He ran for his life

What ever happened?
To public servants
Instead of self-serving

When did it stop
Being about “We the People”

And start
Being about winning

When did the Catholic’s
Social doctrine
And the athiest’s
Social justice
Both translate to
“Go to Hell”?

Why do we wait for them?
For education
And elections

And then wonder
Why we won’t teach us
To elect ourselves

What if
Every lawn’s
Campaign sign
Read “Peace”

What if
On November 6th
We’d agree

To agree

What if
I were to say
I’ll only believe
In a government
That believes
In me

What if the citizens
Were really united
And each one of us
Decided

That I’d vote for me.

© Hakim Bellamy September 17th, 2012
For Rasheed and for Occupy
Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, New Mexico (2012-2014) http://hakimbe.com/

September 26, 2012 at 09:55 AM in Arts, Citizens United, Occupy Wall Street, Poetry/Spoken Word | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

10/01: Jim Dean Coming to NM to Host Event for Broderick for HD30

Jim Dean Chairman of Democracy for America (DFA) is coming to Albuquerque to host an event for Mary Ellen Broderick, the democratic candidate for House District 30.

DFA in their usual 50 state strategy is coming to New Mexico to help Mary Ellen Broderick win her race for HD30, not only is Jim Dean hosting the event, he may canvass with Mary Ellen time permitting. Mary Ellen is running  a true "People Powered campaign". She is working tirelessly to be the next State Representative of District 30.

Please come invest in Mary Ellen's campaign and sign up to volunteer.

Jim dean 10.01 001

September 25, 2012 at 09:54 AM in 2012 Legislature Races, Candidates & Races, DFA, DFNM - Albq, Events | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Albuquerque City Councilors and Administration Officials Promote Electric Vehicles

Events in more than 60 cities celebrate 200 Million Oil-Free Miles Driven by EVs

DSCN0134

Albuquerque, NM—Albuquerque City Councilors Ken Sanchez and Rey Garduño, City Transit Director Bruce Rizzieri, and City Fleet Manager Tony Baldonado test-drove electric cars and touted their role in a cleaner, greener, more secure America as part of National Plug-In Day, a nationwide celebration of electric vehicles (EVs). The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club organized the event along with local EV owners and clean-energy advocates, including the New Mexico Solar Energy Association, Sacred Power, and the Southwest Green Building Center.

"Electric vehicles have a bright future in Albuquerque—and the future is here.” said Dave Simon, Rio Grande Chapter Director for the Sierra Club. “Switching to EVs will reduce America’s dependence on oil, cut air pollution, and create jobs—and we can power many EVs in New Mexico using solar energy. The City should be a leader in promoting EVs and can take many steps to encourage EV use.”

City officials drove a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and a converted electric Volkswagen Beetle in the morning then discussed their experiences and steps the City can take to encourage electric vehicles at an afternoon press conference in front of the City’s downtown EV charging station on 3rd Street. Other EV vehicles that will soon be available on the market include the Ford Focus EV, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Honda Fit EV, the Tesla Model S, and the Toyota plug-in hybrid Prius.

DSCN0130
"Electric car technology will bring us one step closer to energy independence, which is important for our long-term economic viability and our national security,” said City Councilor Ken Sanchez. “I would like to see Albuquerque take the lead in exploring the use of electric vehicles to keep the air clean and sustain our future as a global innovator."

“Electric cars are more than a fad, but a way to look at transportation in the future,” said City Councilor Rey Garduño. “With that in mind, it’s vital that electric vehicles be affordable for people.”

Simon pointed out several ways in which the City of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico could promote and incentivize EV use, including: A state tax credit or rebate for purchasing an EV or converting vehicles to plug-in; Installing more EV charging units throughout the city and state; state and city fleet purchases of EVs; state or utility tax credit or rebate for installing an EV charging unit; Local or state building-code changes that require new construction to include EV-ready wiring; Waiver of emissions inspections or sales tax for EVs.

National Plug In Day events on September 23-24 took place in more than 60 cities nationwide organized by Plug In America, Sierra Club, Electric Auto Association, and local groups. These free events invited the public to celebrate the success of electric vehicles. Some 50,000 new electric vehicles have sold in the U.S. in the last two years and tens of thousands of U.S. drivers are saving money at the pump and leading an oil-free transportation revolution.

New data compiled by the National Plug In Day organizers show that EVs have now traveled more than 200 million oil-free electric miles in recent years. EV drivers thus avoided the purchase of 7.4 million gallons of gasoline, saved $19.6 million in fueling costs (even taking into account electricity costs), and prevented 96.5 million pounds of carbon pollution emissions (even factoring in emissions from electricity generated to charge EVs)—that’s like closing 20 coal-fired power plants for a year. These impressive figures are only the beginning, as EV sales are growing steadily, and many new models are becoming available. For details of the new data analysis see this link.

In August the Obama Administration finalized new car efficiency and pollution standards that will raise average fuel economy to 54.5 MPG and slash greenhouse gas pollution from new cars and light trucks. Automakers supported these new standards, in part, because they were confident that they have the technology to meet them, and buyers are demanding high-tech, innovative vehicles. EVs will play an important role in helping automakers meet and exceed these new standards.

About Plug In America: Plug In America is leading the nation’s plug-in vehicle movement. The nonprofit organization works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. We drive electric. You can, too. www.pluginamerica.org, http://www.pluginday.org

About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with 1.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club’s national electric vehicles campaign advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut our addiction to oil. www.sierraclub.org/electric-vehicles

About the Electric Auto Association: The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 75 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles. www.electricauto.org

September 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM in City of Albuquerque, Energy, Transportation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Congressman Luján: House Republicans Turn Out the Lights on the American People

Donothingcongress
Above image from blogforarizona

Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today on the House Republican leadership’s decision to recess the House until November 13.

“With millions of Americans still looking for work and with the country rapidly approaching a fiscal cliff, House Republicans have packed up, turned out the lights on the American people, and headed home until after the November election. This is the earliest Congress has adjourned before an election in more than 50 years. This dubious distinction is on top of the ‘Do Nothing’ Congress’ record for being the least productive Congress in a generation. Between August 3 and November 13, the House of Representatives will have been in session to vote for a total of only eight days.

“The list of unfinished business that the Republican majority leaves behind severely impacts the people of New Mexico who are looking to their elected leaders to address the nation’s challenges. Farmers and ranchers in New Mexico are suffering from the impact of a severe drought, yet the House Republicans are kicking the can down the road on the Farm Bill. They are refusing to bring up a bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization that includes protections for Native Americans. They have failed to take action on a Senate-passed postal reform bill at a time when rural post offices are seeing their hours cut. And House Republicans are refusing to take steps to ensure that tax cuts for working families do not expire at the end of the year.

“The House has a responsibility to the American people to stay in session and complete this important work. I am disappointed that House Republicans have thrown in the towel and put our country’s business on hold for the next seven weeks. I encourage the Republican leadership to reconsider their decision, bring the House back into session, and get to work.”

What Others Are Saying About the Do-Nothing Congress

Norm Ornstein, Congressional Scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, and Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institute: Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.” [4/27/12]

Baltimore Sun: A do-nothing Congress returns to Washington; don't expect much

The 112th Congress has passed far fewer bills than any Congress in recent years…Compromise is now a dirty word and, as the debt ceiling fight proved, there is a large faction among the House Republicans who would close the government and bring down the economy rather than vote for the tiniest of taxes. [9/18]

Bellingham Herald Editorial: Farmers pay the price for GOP politics

House Republicans are once again stalling passage on a crucial bipartisan bill for purely political reasons, and putting Midwest farmers and low-income families at risk…While Boehner plays politics, real American farmers and ranchers are facing the loss of their land or selling off their cattle because this year’s merciless droughts have dried up their pastures. They need to know what kind of help is coming their way to make informed decisions about crop insurance and land management…Where are the senators and representatives who truly care about people – the working poor and the farmers besieged by natural disaster trying to provide plentiful inexpensive food? We know where they are not: in the House Republican caucus. [9/18]

News Chief (Florida) Editorial: Congress is not doing its job

After being here only two days in August, according to House Republican leader Eric Cantor's schedule, the House returned this week to a huge, and hugely important, workload…The fact that Congress has to do this at all should reflect very badly on them because it means that not only did they not get their constitutionally mandated work done on time; they didn't get it done at all, although the GOP-controlled House was repeatedly able to find time to repeal Obamacare.[9/13]

September 21, 2012 at 03:05 PM in Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (3)

9k signatures in favor of Pit Rule delivered to Gov. Martinez

From the SouthWest Organizing Project

PitRulePetitionsOn Thursday, September 20th representatives from SouthWest Organizing Project and Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund delivered a petition containing almost 9,000 signatures to the office of Governor Susana Martinez. The petition represented New Mexicans who want to maintain a strong Pit Rule, which protects groundwater from waste produced by the oil and gas industry. The Oil Conservation Commission will make a decision on the Pit Rule on Monday, September 24th.

Here is the language as it appeared on the petition that was signed by nearly 9,000 New Mexicans:

As a concerned New Mexican and a supporter of Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund, I am outraged by your administration's efforts to weaken the existing environmental protections that safeguard New Mexico's clean air, land, water, and wildlife. Policies like the oil and gas Pit Rule -- which your Oil Conservation Commission is now considering dismantling -- protect our scarce water supply, and therefore our livelihood. New Mexicans are counting on your administration to keep these safeguards in place, hold polluters accountable, and protect our families, communities, and livelihoods.

What is the Pit Rule?

  • The Pit Rule was adopted in 2008 after extensive input from industry, ranchers, conservationists and residents. It protects groundwater from oil and gas production wastes and, despite evidence that it effectively avoids contamination, the oil and gas industry has attacked it from all sides.
  • In 2007, the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division proposed a new rule to replace the existing rule. A Pit Rule Task Force, made up of 14 members who represented the OCD, the oil and gas industry, the cattle growing industry, the cities of Bloomfield and Lovington, environmental groups and other citizens, was formed to consider various pit waste issues. After hearing testimony from dozens of scientific and technical experts and months of deliberation, the OCC issued a final rule which became law June 16, 2008.
  • According to state records, before implementation of the Pit Rule there were more than 400 known cases of groundwater contamination that could be linked directly to poorly maintained oil and gas industry waste pits. Since the Pit Rule’s adoption, there have been 0 known cases.

Read more about the Pit Rule here and here.

September 21, 2012 at 01:35 PM in Action Alerts, Environment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Senator Phil Griego Corrects Campaign Ad

Sen phil griegoThe following Op-ed was published in the Abq Journal North on Sept 12, 2012

I am currently the New Mexico state Senator representing District 39. I write this editorial to correct statements that were made by my campaign during this year’s Democratic primary race.

During my primary race, my campaign published advertisements in this paper criticizing my opponent, Jack Sullivan. In these ads, my campaign also made certain statements regarding two New Mexico tax-exempt nonpartisan nonprofit organizations, the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) and the Center for Civic Policy (CCP). The ads stated that SWOP and CCP were paying the salaries of my opponent’s campaign manager, Neri Holguin, and other campaign staff.

After meeting with CCP and SWOP, I now believe that was not the case and I wish now to correct the record.

Neither SWOP nor CCP made any payments to Ms. Holguin. These regrettable accusations may have caused these organizations potential harm to their reputations.

These organizations provide important education and advocacy resources to underrepresented communities in New Mexico. Both CCP and SWOP educate New Mexicans about issues that are important to our communities, such as access to health care, equitable tax policies, and environmental justice. While I do not always agree with their views on these issues, I applaud their extensive track records of contributing to healthy debate toward finding solutions to these pressing issues and for encouraging New Mexicans to become more vocal and empowered in policy-making decisions. An informed, educated and engaged public is the foundation for democracy. The efforts of these two organizations are truly in service to that very goal.

I hope that by setting the record straight, both SWOP and CCP can continue with their important work, unencumbered by gossip and innuendo.

Personally, I intend to direct my energies, going forward, on fighting for my constituents and New Mexicans statewide, by supporting policies and programs that I consider to be the top priorities facing New Mexico, namely job creation, economic development, health care, and water and agricultural issues.

September 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM in 2012 Legislature Races | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Luján Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic heritage monthCongressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15.

“Hispanic Heritage Month represents an opportunity to reflect on the enduring contributions of a community that has strengthened the fabric of a nation whose diversity is a source of strength and pride. As one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States, Hispanics have increasingly played a vital role in our country as businessmen and women, members of the armed forces, teachers, and first responders.

“As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and this year’s theme of ‘Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit,’ we are reminded that we are united by the common bonds that include the belief in the American Dream and the desire for a brighter tomorrow.

“With the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, we also recognize National Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Week. HSIs play a key role in educating approximately 50 percent of all Hispanics enrolled in colleges and universities. A quality education is essential to a stronger future not only for Hispanics, but for all young Americans. The role that HSIs play is critical to providing Hispanics with the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge that is necessary to get ahead in an increasingly global economy.

“This month, as we recognize the impact of the Hispanic community and the rich culture, traditions, and values that have influenced our nation, let us continue our efforts to live up to the hopes and aspirations of a community whose influence on our nation runs deep.”

September 17, 2012 at 09:51 AM in Hispanic Issues, History, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03) | Permalink | Comments (0)