Environment & Climate Change

FEMA explores outsourcing much of the $2.5B program for northern NM fire victims

BY: - November 22, 2022

A week before Congress approved spending $2.5 billion to fully compensate victims of botched prescribed burns that grew into New Mexico’s biggest-ever wildfire, the agency in charge of the paying victims started to explore hiring private companies to do a lot of the work. The “Request for Information” on Sept. 22 by the Federal Emergency […]

Texas oil and gas agency investigating 5.4 magnitude earthquake in West Texas, the largest in three decades

BY: and - November 22, 2022

Inspectors for the Texas Railroad Commission are investigating a 5.4 magnitude earthquake that was recorded west of Pecos near the border of Reeves and Culberson counties on Wednesday, the agency said. The earthquake, confirmed by the U.S. Geological Survey, was the largest recorded in the state since 1995 and the third-largest in Texas history, according […]

Draft FEMA rules give Northern NM fire victims only 25% of what their trees were worth

BY: - November 21, 2022

Those who lost acres of trees to the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire are asking the federal agency overseeing $2.5 billion in aid to change what they say is an improper cap on the amount they can receive for burned trees, which make up a significant amount of expected claims under the act.  The Federal Emergency […]

FEMA opts not to hire a New Mexican to rule on claims for Hermit’s Peak-Calf Canyon Fire

BY: - November 18, 2022

The Federal Emergency Management Agency held its first public meeting yesterday to accept comments for how it might tailor its $2.5 billion program to best help victims of the biggest fire in New Mexico history, one accidentally started by the United States Forest Service. But a FEMA official told Source New Mexico that the agency […]

Officials don’t intend to ask for more state money next year for uranium mine cleanup

BY: - November 17, 2022

Even though the state Legislature passed a uranium mine bill that was signed into law by the governor, it’ll likely be years before the state actually begins to clean things up. More money is needed for the effort, but because the early stages of work are moving slowly, officials don’t expect to ask for additional […]

Chaco drilling ban will likely only put a small dent in oil and gas production in the region 

BY: - November 16, 2022

A plan to bar new oil and gas leases within Chaco Canyon National Historic Park for 20 years will only slightly reduce the activity of extractive mineral industries, according to an environmental assessment released last week by the U.S. Interior Department. The federal government announced a halt to new leases on about 338,690 acres within […]

FEMA begins accepting applications from Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire victims for $2.5 billion in aid

BY: - November 14, 2022

Victims of the biggest fire in New Mexico history can today begin their applications to get some of the $2.5 billion made available by an act of Congress in late September.  The Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire grew out of control due to two errant prescribed burns ignited by the federal government that merged and then […]

Amid a major federal investment in electric cars, it’s time for states to step up, advocates say

BY: - November 14, 2022

For years, electric vehicles posed something of a chicken-and-egg problem. Mass adoption, seen as critical to cutting the largest single source of U.S. carbon emissions, couldn’t happen until the infrastructure to allow drivers to recharge wherever they were heading was in place. And those charging stations weren’t coming until more drivers switched to plug-in electric vehicles. That’s […]

New Mexico Oil and Gas rules await cash after Democratic sweep

BY: - November 11, 2022

Despite a Democratic sweep of New Mexico state offices and continuing blue majority in the upcoming Legislature, the future of oil and gas regulation remains hazy. Michelle Lujan Grisham returns to the Governor’s Mansion for another four years, after a first term spent initiating some of the nation’s most progressive clean energy incentives and most stringent […]

Fossil fuel money flows to New Mexico Democrats

BY: - November 11, 2022

New Mexico’s Republicans and advocates for oil and gas producers often accuse the state’s ruling Democrats of trying to kill the local fossil fuel industry, but industry donations and agency funding outcomes tell a different story. Democrats hold a lock on all statewide offices and both chambers of the Legislature heading into the midterm elections, […]

Councilors: Albuquerque’s hop-on-and-go bus program made it too easy for the wrong kind of riders

BY: - November 7, 2022

Albuquerque city councilors are weighing whether to end a popular Zero Fares Pilot Program for the bus system where riders don’t have to pay or show any kind of pass to get on a bus, arguing that the policy makes public transit less safe. “Right now the buses are dirty and smell like urine,” said […]

PNM customers continue to pay for San Juan coal plant that’s no longer operating

BY: - November 7, 2022

In the two months since the San Juan Generating Station shut down in New Mexico, the region’s customers have been paying the same rate for a facility that’s no longer giving them energy.  And they could keep doing so for years following a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court last week. The Public Service […]