Tuesday, August 05, 2008

NM-Sen: Pearce's First TV Ad Shows Backward Thinking Extremism

Trio_2I won't post a copy of the first TV ad being aired by the GOP's U.S. Senate candidate in New Mexico. Let him pay to get it shown using his meager campaign funds. No free rides here for the backward thinking right-wing extremist. I don't want Pearce to follow in the footsteps of John McCain, who makes small media buys and then has the media and blogs show his ad for free. Let 'em pay.

I will say that the ad attacks "far-left environmentalists" and ties them to Tom Udall. Far-left, to Pearce, apparently means anything other than drilling everywhere no matter the impact and putting a nuke plant in every town. Some in Pearce's party at least pretend to be interested in significantly increasing alternative energy production and getting in on the ground floor in terms of developing green economy jobs.

Not Pearce. He doesn't mention anything except drilling and nuke plants -- so I take it that those two items constitute his entire energy plan. In fact, the ad seems to imply (at least to me) that nuke power can solve all our problems, maybe even cure cancer! I know that even many environmentalists think that some additional nuclear power may be necessary in the short-term, but Pearce seems to view it as a cure-all. He doesn't mention where all the poisonous waste would go.

I know "conservatives" are all about preserving the status quo, but Pearce seems to be going even further in recommending a return to the energy policies of the 1950s. Of course, given his narrow-minded social views, he'd probably like to return us to that era in most ways. When everybody knew their place and few dared to raise any questions or challenge the power structure.

After all, this is a guy that voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act that recently passed in the House, as well as the 2007 Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Equal pay for equal work? Not in Pearce's world. A paradigm shift to alernative energy? Not in Pearce's world. New paradigms and progressive ideas seem to scare him. He's a clinger. To the past. To known entities. To the present corporate power structure. To things as they were, not things as they can be.

Actively support the candidate who looks to the future with excitement and hope -- and help make sure a narrow-minded throwback to the 1950s doesn't get anywhere near the U.S. Senate. Do what you can to help True Blue New Mexico candidate Tom Udall. If we don't do it, who will?

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August 5, 2008 at 01:46 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Energy, Environment, Republican Party, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tonight: IndyMedia TV Tackles Big Oil Issues

From Allan Cooper of the IndyMedia Collective: Watch IndyMedia TV tonight on Comcast Cable's Channel 27 in Albuquerque at 7:00 PM. We're on the web too at http://quote-unquote.org/ in real time.

Shrayas Jatkar from the Sierra Club will be talking with us about the fallacy of 'Peak Oil' and how the big oil companies are raking in billions off the lie. Also, Senators Pierce and Mc Cain are recipients of millions for their upcoming campaigns. Last quarter the so-called big four oil companies made over 35 billions dollars in profits! That's 'our' money sisters and brothers ... Capitol X, political Hip-Hop artist will join us by phone to give us an ear full (and eye full). Plus, Armon from Burque will update us on the resistance building to stop the next war/attack on Iran. We all need to stand up and speak up NOW, please, for the children. Our call-in phone is 505-346-1633. Info? Call 505-304-3144.

August 1, 2008 at 04:26 PM in Energy, Environment, Media | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Santa Fe's Mayor Coss Discusses Urban Issues on MayorTV

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is featured on MayorTV today, lamenting the feds' "ignorance" in neglecting cities, criticizing overly harsh immigration raids and wondering when we're going to get serious about solar energy. MayorTV is a project organized by the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and The Nation, and it's been interviewing mayors from around the nation about what's going on in their cities and what kind of help they need from the federal government.

Harry Moroz, a research associate at the Drum Major Institute, described the project this way:

One of our goals is to get the presidential candidates to start talking more about urban policy and the issues that really matter to cities- things like health care, infrastructure, public transportation, and education. Taken as a whole, these interviews have spoken to the fact that cities matter and can be the test-centers for policies that could be implemented on a nationwide scale. Often mayors are at the heart of this change and the presidential candidates need to start paying attention.

A few weeks ago, MayorTV visited Miami and interviewed mayors at the Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors including Mayor Coss, who had introduced a resolution calling for comprehensive immigration reform that passed unanimously at the conference.

The Drum Major Institute and The Nation take the position that urban issues -- housing, transportation, infrastructure, crime, education -- are being neglected by the presidential candidates, even though more than 80% of Americans live in cities and urbanites drive 90% of our economy. We've witnessed hundreds of photo-ops of the candidates at county fairs, tractor pulls and other agricultural settings, but much fewer in urban environments.

Have the presidential candidates lost touch with urban America? Are "urban issues" code for poor people and ethnic minorities, and thus to be avoided at all costs? Should the candidates have an urban agenda? What should it be? MayorTV is designed to get answers to these questions and more from those who are on the front lines dealing with city issues.

At MayorTV, you can check out videos of a diverse and influential group of mayors -- like Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, John Hickenlooper of Denver, Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City and Marty Chavez of Albuquerque -- giving their prescriptions for an agenda that supports American cities large and small.

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July 31, 2008 at 10:42 AM in Energy, Government, Immigration, Public Policy, Santa Fe Politics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thursday: Labor & Environment Groups to Parody McCain & Pearce’s Pro-Industry Energy Plans

Are you in the mood for some lampooning? Some satire? Some pointed parody? Feeling so upset about how things are going that you need to laugh or you'll cry? This is the event for you. I'm informed that New Mexicans affiliated with labor and pro-environment groups will gather on Thursday, July 31st, to highlight Big Oil’s latest round of billions in quarterly profits -- at a time when people are paying record prices at the pump.

Donning their tiaras and puffing their cigars, a troupe of ‘Big Oil Billionaires for McCain & Pearce’ will be on hand to toast John McCain’s plan for a $3.8 billion tax cut for the top five oil companies. They'll be sniveling over Barack Obama’s plan for an immediate $1,000 tax cut to provide American consumers with real relief, while putting us on the path to energy independence through a $150 billion investment in clean, renewable energy. The troupe will also raise a glass to Rep. Steve Pearce for voting time and again to extend and maintain billions in tax cuts for the oil and gas industry, while opposing any increase in fuel efficiency standards -– all for only about $650,000 in campaign contributions. Be there tomorrow to join in the revelry:

  • WHERE: ConocoPhillips gas station, Lomas & San Pedro (6121 Lomas Blvd, NE), ABQ
  • WHEN: Thursday, July 31, 2008 – 4:30 PM


WHAT: Visibility event – including the ‘Big Oil Billionaires for McCain & Pearce’ troupe – on oil companies’ record profits and McCain & Pearce’s pro-industry energy plans   

WHO: Sierra Club, AFL-CIO International, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, and AFSCME Council 18

VISUALS: ‘Big Oil Billionaires for McCain & Pearce’ troupe, mock gas station sign with top 3 oil companies’ profits and other informative graphics on presidential & senatorial candidates’ energy plans

According to event organizers, the largest oil companies are together expected to post more than $35 billion in profits for the second quarter alone –- putting them on pace to exceed last year’s all-time high of more than $123 billion. The event will also draw attention to campaign contributions that John McCain and Steve Pearce took from oil companies, and expose how their energy plans stand to benefit Big Oil rather than hard-working consumers.

Don't miss it. It's not often that we get tiaras, cigars and billionaires in one place in this town!

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July 30, 2008 at 05:07 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, Corporatism, Economy, Populism, Energy, Environment, Labor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sierra Club Calls Out McCain on 'Energy Misses'

The Sierra Club is challenging John McCain on his energy policies and his campaign's behavior in recent days. They noted in a release that John McCain canceled a planned trip to Louisiana today—a trip during which he was slated to visit offshore drilling platforms and tout his misguided offshore drilling plan. The cancellation came amid a spill of some 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil into the Mississippi River, Following a collision of a tanker and a barge, the massive spill caused a slick approximately 12 miles long and closed a 29 mile stretch of the Mississippi River. In a statement, Cathy Duvall, Political Director of the Sierra Club, had this to say:

"It comes as no surprise that the McCain campaign blamed the cancellation of their trip to Louisiana on the weather. Apparently hundreds of thousands of gallons of spilled oil, dead fish, and oil-covered birds aren't ideal conditions for peddling a misguided plan for more offshore drilling. Unfortunately, the risk for such spills—and far worse—would only increase if John McCain and George Bush get their way and allow Big Oil to begin the 'exploitation' of our coasts.

"It's a shame that John McCain is going to miss the opportunity to see first-hand just how damaging an oil spill can be. 

"After going straight to Houston to tell Big Oil he was their new best friend, it looks like John McCain has decided to embark on a tour of our country's greatest energy misses. He's already been to Santa Barbara, he then told the people of Nevada how he wants to stick them with more than 70,000 tons of dangerous nuclear waste, and Lousiana was the site of the biggest offshore oil spill in our nation's history. Maybe next he'll visit Prince William Sound or Three Mile Island?"

The Sierra Club described some of McCain's recent campaign destinations this way:

McCain's Greatest Energy Misses Summer 2008 Tour

1. Houston, Texas—June 17
McCain announced his flip-flop on offshore drilling and received a standing ovation from the Big Oil fat cats that have given over $5 million to his campaign and the Republican National Committee. A 1979 offshore well blowout in the Bay of Campeche spilled more than 126,000,000 gallons of oil—coating beaches in Texas and Mexico with crude. 

2. Santa Barbara, California—June 24
McCain pushed his misguided offshore drilling plan at the site of a 1969 oil spill from an offshore well that coated the beaches of Santa Barbara with at least 3,234,000 gallons of oil.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada—June 25
John McCain went to Nevada to push his plans to build 100 new nuclear power plants and stick the residents of the state with more than 77,000 tons of highly dangerous nuclear waste at the unsafe and unproven Yucca Mountain site.

4. Louisiana—July 24 CANCELED 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in more than 9,000,000 gallons of oil being spilled off-shore and at related facilities onshore. Louisiana is also the site of the nation's largest ever offshore oil spill, the 1967 Humble Oil spill that spewed at least 6,726,000 gallons of oil from an undersea pipeline. 

5. Prince William Sound, Alaska--???
The 1989 ExxonValdez disaster spilled 10,800,000 gallons of oil into the Pristine Waters of Prince William Sound. Mere months after the tragic spill, John McCain voted against requiring double-hull tankers. McCain also wants to appoint more Supreme Court justices like Alito and Roberts, who recently decided to cut ExxonMobil's punitive damages to just $500 million—the same amount the company paid former CEO Lee Raymond during his final year with the company.

6. Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania—???
Site of the nation's worst nuclear accident, 1979 partial meltdown of one of the station's two reactors.  John McCain wants to build 100 new nuclear reactors, a plan that by utilities' own estimates could cost AT LEAST $1 TRILLION. 

Click here to read more from the Sierra Club about the top three myths McCain and other Republicans like Steve Pearce and Darren White are spreading about offshore drilling.

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July 24, 2008 at 04:34 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Energy, Environment | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A New Mexico Gem: Arthur Alpert (and Ruminations on The Line)

AlpertHave you been reading Arthur Alpert's (right) pieces on the New Mexico Independent each Friday? I have. Check out this week's post, which considers Pete Domenici's newfound admiration for CAFE standards and suggests how Pete might share his experience.

As Alpert's NMI bio says:

Once upon a time, Arthur Alpert was a newspaperman (N.Y. World-Telegram & Sun), TV producer-writer-host (news, documentaries), magazine contributor (New Republic, Washington Monthly) and journalism teacher. In New Mexico, he was news director at KGGM-TV, editor of Prime Time monthly and columnist for the Albuquerque Tribune.

I was reminded just how witty, informed and articulate Alpert is during his recent appearance as a guest on The Line panel on KNME's New Mexico In Focus, which airs every Friday night at 7:00 PM and repeats at 6:00 AM on Sundays. Mary Ellen and I were bravo-ing out loud as Alpert calmly eviscerated some of the more fact-less and clue-less pronouncements of regular panelists Jim Scarantino, who often claims to be an independent, and Scott Darnell, a paid NM GOP operative. Gumption!

Let's hope the show's producer, Kevin McDonald, and The Line's host, Gene Grant, invite Alpert back soon and often to provide some much-needed balance and heft to the show. UNM Law School Prof. Margaret Montoya, a regular panelist, does a bang-up job for the liberal side of the spectrum -- but it's often hard to counteract the one-two punch of Scarantino and Darnell if the guest panelist is reticent to join in the fray or trends to the right.

By the way, Scott Darnell will be departing The Line panel shortly to attend Harvard's JFK School of Government -- rather ironic, that -- and I wonder who will be chosen to take his place. Let's hope that if it's another professional paid by the Repubs to hawk their talking points, someone with a similar professional profile from the Dem side will be included on the panel regularly to offset that slant.

Of course my real hope is that Darnell will be replaced with someone whose positions are less lock step and whose thinking is more nuanced and unpredictable than Scott's has been. I think the show needs less rigid ideology and more spontaneity in Darnell's successor, if you know what I mean.

Thankfully, Scarantino wanders a bit on the ideology scale on some issues, although his oft-expressed, uncritical love for all things Pete can be tiresome -- at least to me. And his penchant to bring up polygamy every time the topic of gay marriage or domestic partnerships arises gets on my nerves. Hey, we all have our pet rants. Jim is Jim and he can be smart and funny if the topic is right. But he's like a broken record on Domenici and the environment, and he usually offers few facts or cites to back up his arguments.

Don't get me wrong. I think Kevin McDonald, David Alire Garcia, Gene Grant and everyone else involved with New Mexico In Focus does an excellent job of bringing local issues into, well, focus. I just think the show could benefit from some tweaking to make the panel segment more provocative and balanced.

Do you watch The Line on New Mexico in Focus? What do you think?

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July 15, 2008 at 03:30 PM in Energy, Local Politics, Media | Permalink | Comments (3)

Obama Campaign Knock's Bush Call for Offshore Drilling

Here's the Obama campaign's statement in response to Bush's lifting of the executive order banning offshore drilling:

"If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks.  But most experts, even within the Bush Administration, concede it would do neither.  It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for thirty years. Senator Obama believes Americans need real short-term relief, which is why he has proposed a second round of stimulus with energy rebates for working families. And over the long-term, Senator Obama understands that our national security and the survival of the planet demand a real strategy to break our dependence on foreign oil by developing clean, new sources of energy and by vastly improving the energy efficiency of our cars, trucks and our economy.  He is ready to lead such a transformation," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

And what about the Bush-McCain call for oil shale extraction? Sen. Ken Salazar, the moderate Dem from Colorado, answers with some facts. Fact, you know, those things avoided by those pushing the myth that more drilling and extraction can solve all our problems with energy. And damn the environment of course.

July 15, 2008 at 11:20 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Energy, Environment | Permalink | Comments (2)

Parting Shot on McCain

We're packing our bags, getting read to head to Austin for Netroots Nation, but I had to add a parting shot about McCain's visit to Albuquerque. Amidst all the hoopla and often fawning coverage of McCain, I wish someone would have thought to ask him why he flew in on a plane and then got into his massive, Straight Talk Express-decorated bus to go to the Hilton.

Talk about a double whammy of gas guzzling. Think about it -- McCain was flying here while his bus was driving here from wherever it was last used to hawk his alleged "straight talk" on the campaign trail. No wonder McCain wants to drill everywhere regardless of the consequences. He'd better start encouraging the oil companies to start using all those leases they've left undrilled while they lobby for Congress to open up even more land and water to drilling.

Using Interior Department data for its analysis, The Wilderness Society reports:

More than 44 million acres of public lands are leased for oil and gas development, according to a new Wilderness Society analysis of Interior Department data. The analysis points to an explosion of drilling on federal lands, with 7,124 drilling permits (APDs) issued in 2007, a new record for the Bush Administration. Nationwide, the leasing is outstripping the oil and gas industry’s capacity to drill, as industry is drilling on only a quarter of the leases they hold.

And we've seen the price of gas come down magically after all that increased drilling, haven't we? Of course not. Thanks in large part to the hedge fund cronies and other poorly regulated speculators in the oil market who are artificially driving prices up. And don't forget all those interest rate drops in response to mortgage and bank failures that are effectively driving down the value of the dollar so everything costs more. What a racket. And remember, McCain is getting campaign money from many of the very people perpetrating the racket. Straight talk indeed.

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July 15, 2008 at 08:06 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Energy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 14, 2008

NM-Sen: Udall's New Ad and Statements Tackle Gas Prices with The Facts

I really like the new ad by U.S. Senate candidate Tom Udall, which goes up on the air tomorrow. It takes on the issue of exploding gas prices and what we can do to address the problem. Number one on Tom's list of what we can do right now? Stop hedge fund speculators from driving up prices unnaturally. Rah.

The new ad follows on the heels of Udall's Friday round table on gas prices in Albuquerque, which you can read about here (with photos). Also, watch the video above of Tom's statement to reporters at the round table. Unlike the soundbites favored by much of our MSM, the video gives you a more complete statement about oil prices and energy policy by Udall. AND READ THE FACTS BELOW THE FOLD.

Too bad KOB-TV news, the only local news station that covered the round table (to my knowledge), decided to slant their coverage so heavily to a Steve Pearce, pro-drilling as an end all and be all focus. They even went so far as to provide Steve Pearce with a special, lengthy appearance on camera even though he hadn't held any recent public events or held any press conferences about gas prices. They provided a sound bite of about one sentence from Udall. Bah humbug. You can't seem to get the facts from them.

Udall Provides the Facts
Forget about the MSM and the pundits, and read the following statement from the Udall campaign that lays out the facts on gas prices and our energy future. I'm sure you won't see these facts anywhere on the corporate-owned media -- not if they can help it anyway:

“Rising gas prices, and the additional associated costs, are crushing New Mexico citizens,” said Udall Campaign Manager Amanda Cooper. “Tom Udall is proposing effective solutions that could help stabilize prices and bring relief to New Mexicans right now.”

Udall has long advocated for a balanced energy policy with a range of solutions to help put our nation on a path towards greater energy independence. “Right Now”, which is set at a gas station and debuts statewide on Tuesday, outlines his ideas about what can be done to address escalating gas prices, today.

Udall’s plan includes:

Immediately cracking down on hedge fund speculators who are manipulating markets to drive up the price of oil to reduce the cost of a barrel of oil by approximately one third knock up to a dollar off of the price of a gallon of gas. 

  • Bringing new, clean refineries online to increase domestic supply.
  • Getting serious about alternative energy to reduce both gas and food prices.
  • Raising fuel economy standards for our vehicles.
  • Responsible drilling to increase domestic oil production.
  • Supporting legislation that would punish price gouging by unscrupulous companies.
  • Encouraging additional conservation efforts throughout our economy, including tax credits for renewable energy.

“Tom Udall believes we have the skills and vision to right here in New Mexico to play a vital role in our national energy security while simultaneously creating the jobs of the future here at home,” said Cooper. “In the Senate, Tom Udall will do what’s right and work to put us on a path towards greater energy independence.” 

The text and facts behind Udall’s new, 30-second ad, which will begin airing throughout New Mexico on Tuesday, are below.

“RIGHT NOW” (:30), Release Date - July 15, 2008

Tom Udall: “Is there anything we can do right now to lower gas prices? I’m Tom Udall and, first, stop hedge fund speculators from driving up the price of oil.

FACT: Hedge funds, investment banks, and other institutional investors are now swamping oil markets.  These investors, who are seeking paper profits, not oil, are driving up oil prices by as much as $40 per barrel according to experts, a Senate subcommittee report, oil company executives, and others. [Senate Commerce Committee, Testimony of Mark Cooper, 6/3/08; Senate Commerce Committee, Testimony of Gerry Ramm, 6/3/08]

FACT: On June 26, 2008, Congressman Tom Udall voted on HR 637, Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008, a bill that “directs the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to use all its authority, including the agency's emergency powers, to ‘curb immediately’ the role of excessive speculation in energy futures markets.” [June 26, 2008, Reuters; Roll Call #468]

Tom Udall: Get oil companies to build new clean refineries in the U.S. to increase supply, or take away their tax breaks.

FACT: “Existing refineries in the U.S. produce gasoline and other end-use products in the 90 percent plus range of capacity. While refining capacity has crept up a small amount since 2005 through operating efficiencies, the solution — adding significant refinery capacity — is more easily said than done.” [“Shock at pump stems from high crude oil prices.”Sandia.gov, April 23, 2008.]

FACT: In Congress, Tom Udall has supported measures to promote the development of clean refineries. [Voted for Amendment offered by Rep. Stupak: “Federal Response to Energy Emergencies Act of 2005”; Voted for Rep. Boucher Motion to Recommit HR 5254, 2006]

Tom Udall: And get serious about alternative energy.

FACT: In Congress, Tom Udall wrote bi-partisan legislation that requires electric suppliers to provide 15 percent of their electricity using alternative energy resources and energy efficiency measure by the year 2020. The amendment passed 220-190. [H.AMDT.748 to H.R.3221, Vote #827, 8/04/07] According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), consumers would save $1.3 billion to $6.1 billion in lower electricity and natural gas bills cumulatively by 2020. [Union of Concerned Scientists Fact Sheet, “EIA Study: 15 Percent Renewable Electricity Standard Would Save Consumers Money and Reduce Global Warming Pollution.”]

Tom Udall: I’m running for the U.S. Senate and I approve this message because record profits for big oil companies, while we pay record prices for gas, is wrong.”

FACT: “High gas prices may have cinched American consumers’ wallets in 2007, but they loaded the coffers of the big five oil companies: BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell. ExxonMobil, after record high profits in 2005 and 2006, smashed the record for highest profits ever made by a public U.S. company—previously held by Exxon—by posting a net profit of $40.6 billion in 2007. To put these figures in perspective, Exxon’s $40.6 billion profit in 2007 is roughly equal to receiving ‘$30 for every person in China and $132 for every U.S. resident.’ Another way of looking at it is that Exxon made $77,245 per minute in 2007—that’s more money generated per minute than 70 percent of Americans earned all year, according to the Census Bureau.” Daniel J. Weiss, Nick Kong. “Big Oil Feasts on Economic Woes. Record Profits from Big Five Oil Companies Feed on High Gas Prices.” American Progress.com February 5, 2008

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July 14, 2008 at 07:54 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Energy | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, July 11, 2008

NM Attorney General and Environment Department Intervene in Desert Rock Suit


Bravo to Attorney General Gary King and the NM Environment Department. Let's hope this works and that a new Dem administration is in place before the Desert Rock coal-fired power plant can be approved for construction. The Durango Herald reports on a move yesterday by the AG's office and the ED to intervene in a lawsuit between the EPA and proponents of the plant that's been proposed for land on the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners area of New Mexico:

New Mexico's attorney general and environmental department say the proposed Desert Rock coal-fired power plant cannot be given an air-quality permit by a July 31 deadline because it would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act. More studies - which will take months, at a minimum - are required, they say.

The two offices filed a joint motion Thursday to intervene in a federal lawsuit between proponents of the power plant and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Desert Rock developers are suing the EPA for delaying action on a Clean Air Act permit for the plant.

The AG's office issued a press release yesterday explaining the action:

"New Mexico can not afford to sit idly by as attempts are being made to skirt the legal requirements for a new coal-fired power plant to be built in the state," says Attorney General Gary King.

... "This permitting process is truly putting the cart before the horse. We believe there are a number of regulatory issues that need to be addressed by the EPA before it can make a decision on this permit," says Attorney General King. "The effects on fish and other wildlife under the Endangered Species Act must be considered; carbon dioxide pollutant levels must be determined; compliance with new federal standards for ozone pollution must be met; and the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for hazardous air pollutants have yet to be addressed by the EPA."

... In a letter last month to the EPA, AG King and Governor Bill Richardson warned that fast-tracking the permit for Desert Rock without the required analyses could worsen air quality and adversely affect the health of those in the region.

Additional legal action is being contemplated by environmental groups:

Mike Eisenfeld, the New Mexico energy coordinator for the San Juan Citizens Alliance, said a coalition of environmental groups will likely file a motion today to dismiss the lawsuit between Desert Rock and the EPA outright.

Spearheading the dismissal motion is the organization Earth Justice; others participating include the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Juan Citizens Alliance and Diné Care, a group founded by Navajo tribal members opposed to the power plant.

Eisenfeld said if the lawsuit is not dismissed, the groups will push for a change of venue. It is currently being heard in federal court in Texas, and the groups believe it should be moved to New Mexico or California, which is the home state of the EPA's Region 9, which oversees operations in New Mexico.

Meanwhile, the EPA has been unilaterally attempting to water down clean air standards that govern how air quality is measured in areas that take in 48 national parks, including Mesa Verde in southwest Colorado in the Four Corners area. Gee, do you think it has anything to do with clearing the way for the filthy pollution of the Desert Rock power plant nearby?

A repository of material on the power plant is at the desert-rock-blog. Also see the website of the San Juan Citizens Alliance.

You can find some of our previous coverage of this issue here and here, including links to additional posts and other sources of information.

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July 11, 2008 at 03:31 PM in Energy, Environment, Native Americans | Permalink | Comments (2)