Environment & Climate Change

Environmental enforcement has fallen off under Biden, report says

BY: - December 22, 2022

Federal environmental enforcement, as measured by Environmental Protection Agency civil cases closed against polluters, hit a two-decade low in 2022, per a report released last week by a national environmental group that blames budget cuts, staff shortages and the U.S. Senate’s failure to confirm key leaders. The Environmental Integrity Project said the 72 civil enforcement […]

Trees, many without leaves, stand on snowy cliffs in the Gila National Forest.

Southern NM counties unclear on how to access millions of state dollars to fix disaster damage

BY: - December 22, 2022

The state set aside about $3 million months ago for small, rural counties damaged by the Black Fire, New Mexico’s second-largest wildfire in history. But after miscommunication and confusion, not one county has gotten a single dollar. After the Black Fire and flooding that followed, counties repaired infrastructure that had to be fixed immediately, like […]

How Las Vegas got $140 million in pending congressional bill to save its drinking water 

BY: - December 22, 2022

The northern New Mexico town of Las Vegas plans to use $140 million included in the $1.7 trillion Congressional spending plan to replace and reconfigure its drinking water system imperiled after a huge wildfire this year.  The money, if Congress passes the spending bill this week, would go toward upgrading the city’s water treatment facility, […]

$1.45 billion more likely coming to victims of Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire

BY: - December 20, 2022

Congress overnight announced $1.45 billion more for a compensation program for victims of New Mexico’s biggest-ever wildfire, bringing the total that could be approved for the blaze to $3.95 billion.  The omnibus spending package still has to be approved in both chambers, and lawmakers are up against a clock, trying to get it done by […]

Danny Roybal, a mayordomo in Mimbres, N.M., on Dec. 15, 2022.

Acequia steward strains to get help to recover historic southern NM irrigation systems

BY: - December 20, 2022

Empty, muddy banks in southern New Mexico show where the Mimbres River should be flowing. But flooding off the Black Fire burn scar was so intense in August that the water carved a new path, its new stream now littered with burnt, broken trees and destroyed irrigation debris. Many farmers and ranchers in southern New […]

The water level behind the Hoover Dam as of March 2, 2022.

Water managers across drought-stricken West agree on one thing: ‘This is going to be painful’

BY: - December 20, 2022

Water authorities in the Western U.S. don’t have a crystal ball, but rapidly receding reservoirs uncovering sunken boats and other debris lost in their depths decades ago give a clear view of the hard choices ahead. If western states do not agree on a plan to safeguard the Colorado River — the source of the […]

FEMA hints it might lift 25% cap on tree reimbursements for northern NM fire victims

BY: - December 19, 2022

Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency are still finalizing rules and accepting public comments on how it will spend about $2.5 billion on victims of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire. But the director of the compensation program on Thursday, in a public meeting in Las Vegas, N.M., suggested one frequently criticized draft rule would […]

Settlement agreement could emerge from behind closed doors in fight over Rio Grande water

BY: - December 15, 2022

After the October bombshell of a draft agreement to end Texas and New Mexico’s fight over Rio Grande water dropped, much of the controversy in the Supreme Court lawsuit slipped behind sealed documents and hearings closed to the public.  The lawsuit — officially called Original No. 141 Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado — dragged […]

NM officials to seek millions for a 50-year water plan that hasn’t yet been revealed

BY: - December 15, 2022

While human-caused climate change continues to strain New Mexico’s water resources, state officials say they want lawmakers to dedicate $8.25 million for a 50-year water plan that’s still being drafted.  The Interstate Stream Commission, a division of the Office of the State Engineer, has been putting together a plan since 2020 that offers solutions to […]

The target chamber of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility, where 192 laser beams delivered more than 2 million joules of ultraviolet energy to a tiny fuel pellet to create fusion ignition on Dec. 5, 2022.

Scientists announce a fusion breakthrough with big implications for clean energy

BY: - December 14, 2022

Scientists at a U.S. national laboratory announced Tuesday that they achieved fusion ignition, a breakthrough decades in the making that could have major implications for clean energy.  Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco said that on Dec. 5, for the first time anywhere in the world, they managed to produce more […]

Sen. Ben Ray Luján speaks at the Congreso de las Acequias

Sen. Ben Ray Luján: Billions for northern NM fire victims still up in the air in DC

BY: - December 13, 2022

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján said negotiations are fluctuating daily on a congressional spending bill that includes almost $3 billion more for victims of the biggest fire in New Mexico history. This funding would come in addition to the $2.5 billion Congress voted to send to the state earlier this year. Luján, a Democrat, told […]

A variety of apples line a produce stand in a grocery store

About one-third of the food Americans buy is wasted, hurting the climate and consumers’ wallets

BY: - December 12, 2022

You saw it at Thanksgiving, and you’ll likely see it at your next holiday feast: piles of unwanted food — unfinished second helpings, underwhelming kitchen experiments and the like — all dressed up with no place to go, except the back of the refrigerator. With luck, hungry relatives will discover some of it before the […]