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PRC approves damaging changes to renewables rule

Solar - City of Santa Fe - 1 MW © DVW

For Immediate Release:
April 16, 2014

Rio Grande Chapter statement on PRC decision to make damaging change to cost calculations in renewables rule

SANTA FE, NM - The Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday voted to make a damaging change to the rule that enforces New Mexico’s renewable-energy law.

Counsel Rick Blumenfeld deceptively told the commission that his recommendation addressed concerns of commenters and failed to tell the commission that most commenters had reached a consensus to keep the current rule intact.


N.M. Environment Department stops enforcing water safeguards for dairies

dairy cows dairies

By Michael Jensen, Amigos Bravos, and Dan Lorimier 03/24/14

When the Martinez Administration’s Water Quality Control Commission compromised public health and the environment by adopting the Copper Rule in September, it also created an alarming precedent to allow pollution of the state’s groundwater rather than requiring prevention of pollution.

The dairy industry was quick to jump at the chance for similar treatment, petitioning the commission to gut the recently enacted Dairy Rule after less than a year of implementation.

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What it's like living next to a dairy

Jana Hughes

By Jana Hughes 03/21/14
As a rural resident living in an agricultural area for the majority of my life, I have spent many of those years living near a large-scale industrial dairy operation in the southeastern quadrant of the state.
Industrial confinement dairies produce massive amounts of manure because they confine thousands of animals on too little land. The untreated waste often migrates off-site and into the groundwater and the air I breathe. Land surrounding my home is used to dispose of the manure, bringing the untreated waste even closer to my home.


Science panel rejects Fish and Wildlife wolf plan

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife chair 03/28/14

The saga and shame of the proposal to delist wolves from endangered-species protection wears on.
Wolves have already been delisted by an act of Congress in the three northern Rockies states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and the three Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Last year, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to remove wolves from the Endangered Species list nationwide (excluding Mexican wolves) based on a reclassification of the species Canis lupus.


What must New Mexicans give up for a CO2 pipeline?

abo ruins.JPG

By Rebecca Anthony, Mountainair resident, and Teresa Seamster 03/14/14

What are New Mexicans sacrificing to global companies like Kinder-Morgan by being compelled to grant easements so hazardous materials can be piped across hundreds of miles of private, public and tribal lands?

This January, in a packed meeting hall in the Alpine Alley Café in Mountainair, residents, ranchers and surrounding landowners listened and asked questions for hours on what a proposed carbon-dioxide pipeline could do to their community.


Our chance to protect Four Corners

chaco julie wilt.jpg

By Norma McCallan, Northern New Mexico Group Conservation chair, 03/31/14
The BLM’s Farmington Field Office has opened a comment period that will run until May 28 in preparation for an Environmental Impact Statement on amendments to its dated 2003 Resource Management Plan.
Back then, the Mancos-Gallup shale formations in northwestern New Mexico were thought to be close to played out, but recent advances in drilling techniques have allowed their development far deeper down, and oil and gas companies are swarming in.


Community speaks out against strip mining on La Bajada

Overflow crowd at La Bajada County Development Review Committee meeting

By: Ross Lockridge and Diane Senior, Rural Conservation Alliance, 03/24/14
“There is no more important geographical landmark of our state, and none with more historical significance.” — William Baxter, historian, Sept. 4, 2005.
Fifty acres of La Bajada Mesa — a historic landmark recognized by the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance as one of New Mexico’s Most Endangered Places — is now under threat of strip mining.


Mora defends its ban on fracking

Mora Field

By Eric Jantz, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, 03/31/14
In April 2013, the Mora County Commission passed an ordinance to protect the county’s water resources and public health from the impacts of oil and gas development.
The ordinance prohibits oil and gas development within the county. In November 2013, several corporations and an individual filed a federal lawsuit that alleges the county’s ordinance violates the corporations’ civil rights.


Residents fight transportation of crude oil to Lamy

By Teresa Seamster, Tom Gorman and Norma McCallan
Northern N.M. Group
The signs along Highway 285 south to Lamy, N.M., say it all: No Crude Oil in Lamy.
With a recent track inspection conducted by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad, it looks as if transporting crude oil carries many requirements and risks that will likely make that slogan come true for residents of Lamy.
The oil proposition


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