Environment & Climate Change

New Mexico’s pandemic oil and gas plan aided a Putin pal and Trump donor

BY: - August 15, 2022

Back in 2020, as oil and gas prices tanked because of the COVID crisis, New Mexico implemented an emergency program that would allow oil and gas producers to temporarily stop production and shut down wells for up to three years without penalty. The state’s Oil Conservation Division created the program so that companies could bank […]

Feds open grant for state to count and clean up abandoned coal mine sites

BY: - August 12, 2022

New Mexico could soon have money to build an inventory of exactly how many coal mines were abandoned in the state before 1977. The Interior Department announced earlier this month that the state can now apply for $2.4 million as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress in 2021, a key element of […]

Cannon Air Force Base ducking public meetings about ‘forever chemical’ risk, neighbors say

BY: - August 11, 2022

Dairy farmers and advocates near Cannon Air Force Base say officials there are stonewalling their call for transparency and more public forums to discuss PFAS contamination.  In October 2018, representatives from the military base just outside of Clovis approached Art Schaap, a dairy farmer on more than 3,500 acres adjoining the base, and told him […]

New Mexico facing a long fight after a Texas utility spews sewage into the Rio Grande

BY: - August 10, 2022

Untreated wastewater traveled to southern NM during a massive, monthslong diversion, state officials say

Kansas, Nebraska researchers use plants to limit exposure to toxic lead in soil

BY: - August 9, 2022

In parts of the Midwest where lead mining and smelting lasted for over a century, communities are still dealing with toxic waste left behind by the industry. Lead, a dangerous neurotoxin, persists in the environment, including in water and soil, where it can pose a threat to the health of people living nearby. The risk […]

NM’s nuclear waste site could be open ‘forever’ despite 2024 closure date, advocate warns 

BY: - August 8, 2022

Shipments of nuclear waste to the nation’s only deep geological repository for the hazardous material show no signs of slowing in the coming years, despite the current permit calling for the plant to begin closing in 2024.  The future of shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant east of Carlsbad was the subject of debate […]

Heinrich gives update on Senate budget bill battle

BY: - August 5, 2022

Democrats are itching to get the Inflation Reduction Act through the U.S. Senate. With a vote expected in the coming days, the country could be a step closer to clean energy initiatives and protection against climate change, all of which are also aimed at lowering the nation’s inflation costs. Although Democratic leaders aren’t sure what […]

Environmental group questions safety of federal drinking water contamination levels

BY: - August 4, 2022

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit analyzing water quality issues, collected research from Europe showing that maximum U.S. federal levels for nitrate can still lead to cancers.  The federal nitrate level set by the Environmental Protection Agency is outdated, said scientist Tasha Stoiber with the Environmental Working Group. It can lead to health risks such […]

Churchrock mine uranium

U.S. Interior Department calls for states to submit mine cleanup proposals

BY: - August 3, 2022

The Interior Department asked states Wednesday to apply for $725 million made available this year to clean up abandoned mine sites as part of the 2021 infrastructure bill. The department officially opened a notice of funding opportunity, which gives states the avenue to request federal grants to close mine shafts, prevent the release of methane […]

U.S. Senate in turnaround backs aid for veterans exposed to burn pits

BY: and - August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed bipartisan legislation that would provide health care and benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances while deployed overseas, after many Republicans switched their votes and decided to once again back the legislation. The shift came after days of protest and vigils outside the U.S. Capitol, […]

Southern NM ranchers looking for help with Gila rehab and property damage

BY: - August 2, 2022

On a ride through the eastern Gila, laughter dwindled to silence as southern New Mexico ranchers saw Black Fire destruction on their land for the first time. Shocked and saddened, they took in blackened trees, flooded areas and cows wandering beyond burnt fences. The second-largest blaze recorded in the state’s history consumed much of the […]

U.S. House passes major wildfire and drought package

BY: - August 2, 2022

The U.S. House approved, 218-199, on Friday a massive package of bills to address the growing threat of wildfire and drought in the West. The measure includes 49 standalone bills from both Democrats and Republicans. It includes provisions to make permanent an increase in wildland firefighter pay, lift a cap on the federal cost share […]