Environment & Climate Change

Colorado River drought conditions spur calls for better water infrastructure

BY: - October 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin. During a hearing before an Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel, witnesses said long-term solutions and an investment in […]

U.S. House plan for new mining royalties draws objections from Western senators

BY: - October 6, 2021

U.S. senators of both parties at a hearing Tuesday rejected House Democrats’ plans to impose billions of dollars in royalties and other fees on companies that mine for gold, copper, lithium and other minerals, largely in Southwestern states. Among the opponents was Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, who said she objected to the House proposal […]

COMMENTARY

Summer rainfall is more extreme due to climate change in the SW

BY: and - October 5, 2021

If you’ve never lived in or visited the U.S. Southwest, you might picture it as a desert that is always hot and dry. But this region experiences a monsoon in the late summer that produces thunderstorms and severe weather, much like India’s famous summer deluges. And this year, it generated a lot of rain. July […]

Rise in New Mexico earthquakes likely triggered by oil industry

BY: - September 30, 2021

New Mexico’s oil and gas regulators and scientists are on alert after a dramatic increase in earthquake activity in southern New Mexico — an increase likely triggered by oil and gas industry injection wells in the Permian Basin. Since 2018 the number of small quakes of magnitude 1 or greater in the basin has risen from […]

U.S. House Dems pass $28.6B in disaster aid for recovery from hurricanes, wildfires, floods

BY: - September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats unveiled a short-term spending measure on Tuesday that would keep the federal government operating through Dec. 3 and provide $28.6 billion for costs related to recent natural disasters.  The bill was passed by the House on a party-line vote Tuesday night, 220-211. But it faces a battle in the evenly divided […]

Should NM political maps be based around acequias? Group makes the case.

BY: - September 21, 2021

When rural New Mexicans gather each year for “la limpia de la acequia,” it’s about more than just clearing the vital irrigation channels of dirt and debris, according to the New Mexico Acequia Association.  The annual ritual, in fact, shows how communities are shaped around acequias and why political districts should be drawn with the […]

Struggle over tax break for inherited farmland churns below surface in reconciliation bill

BY: - September 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—Agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers notched a significant win when U.S. House Democrats chose not to touch a big tax break for inherited property, avoiding for now a confrontation. But opponents remain wary that the idea could come back at any time as Democrats shape their massive $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, and search for […]

Biden administration moves Bureau of Land Management HQ back to D.C. from Colorado

BY: - September 20, 2021

President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Sept. 17 that it would return the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management to Washington, D.C., reversing a controversial decision by the Trump administration — with the support of a bipartisan array of Colorado political leaders — to relocate the office to Grand Junction. The BLM’s Grand Junction […]

Memory of a River: In another hot year, we fail the Rio Grande

BY: - September 18, 2021

In a crinkly government report from the 1920s, two photographs show what the Rio Grande looked like south of Socorro near the town of San Marcial, the remnants and memories of which are submerged today under the sludge and sand of Elephant Butte Reservoir’s northern extent. Taken from a bluff above the Rio Grande, the […]

Popular app AllTrails leads people to sacred sites, some on tribal lands

BY: - September 18, 2021

Leaving the hazy Albuquerque skies, escaping the smoke of distant wildfires covering the Sandia Mountains, you cross west past Nine Mile Hill — maybe make a quick stop to place a wager at the casino — and then drive on until you reach the red rocky mesas. Here, 18-wheelers from the east are the only things […]

Oil industry tailored air quality law with help from NM’s top environment official

BY: - September 18, 2021

Last legislative session, one of the bills that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham championed was the Clean Fuel Standard Act. Her administration touted it as a market-based approach to climate change that would require fuel companies to reduce the amount of carbon in their fuels in New Mexico.  Among those tasked with shepherding the act forward […]

House spending bill would ban Chaco-area drilling; advocates say it’s not enough

BY: - September 15, 2021

A provision in the House of Representatives’ plan to spend $3.5 trillion would ban new oil and gas drilling around the Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, though an alliance fighting to protect the 1,000-year-old site says it doesn’t go far enough. Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate have worked out details on the package […]