Environment & Climate Change

Swifts fly to and from a bridge near the Sunland Park pools to roost for the night in nests they have built out of sediment from around the river.

Lawsuit: State allowance on oil and gas violates New Mexico Constitution

BY: - May 10, 2023

Plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday are seeking a seismic shift for New Mexicans’ rights to a “healthful and beautiful environment.” In a complaint spanning 100 pages, environmental groups, youth activists and individuals from the Pueblos, the Permian Basin and Navajo Nation sued the state of New Mexico, top officials and rulemaking bodies on […]

A technician servicing photovoltaic cells at a solar energy farm In Albuquerque. (Photo By Getty Images)

Technical error forces delay in announcing NM community solar program project winners

BY: - May 10, 2023

A technical error discovered this week caused another delay to the state’s community solar program that aims to establish community solar facilities around the state and give New Mexicans a break on their utility bills. On Tuesday, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission responded to a complaint filed by Massachusetts-based Lightstar Renewables, one of hundreds […]

NM leaders decry federal license for nuclear storage facility

BY: - May 10, 2023

The New Mexico Congressional delegation, local officials and environmental groups vowed to fight a high-level nuclear waste storage facility slated to be built in southern New Mexico. On Tuesday, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license allowing nuclear equipment company Holtec International to build and operate a storage facility in a rural site […]

Feds announce $12.6 million to remove PFAS at southern NM desalination research plant

BY: - May 5, 2023

LAS CRUCES – Remove salt to make drinkable, usable water – that’s the mission for a federally-owned desalination research facility in Alamogordo. The Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility or BGNDRF (big-EN-dorf) grants space for companies, government agencies and researchers to pilot-test their new processes for treating with variable salinity. Problem is, there is more […]

Rural lenders, crop insurance agents push for bolstered safety net at farm bill hearing

BY: - May 5, 2023

WASHINGTON — Rural bank executives and crop insurance agents testified at a Thursday Senate hearing in support of a modernized crop insurance market that helps upstart producers manage growing risks, and supports food security.  The witnesses told the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry that crop insurance represents one of the most important financial […]

NM Environment Department rolls out website for public to see pollution violations

BY: - May 5, 2023

The silhouette of a drill head, backlit by a vibrant sunset, is visible from Route 550 just outside Farmington, N.M., on Oct. 26, 2021. The New Mexico Environment Department rolled out a new website for the public to better track pollution violations, whether in air quality, water or in hazardous waste disposal. (Photo by Isabel Koyama / Howard Center for Investigative Journalism)

petroglyph of a star, crescent moon and hand print at Chaco Canyon

NM congressional lawmakers revive effort to protect Chaco from drilling, mining

BY: - May 4, 2023

New Mexico’s congressional delegation on Wednesday again introduced the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, with support from Pueblo governments and environmental organizations. Fossil fuel drilling threatens air and wildlife in national parks, advocacy group finds The legislation would prevent future leasing and development of oil, gas and minerals on more than 316,000 acres of […]

The Lesser Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) dancing or "drumming" as part of a mating display in northern Oklahoma. (Nattapong Assalee / Getty Images)

Biden rule protecting lesser prairie-chicken overturned by U.S. Senate

BY: - May 4, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed on a 50-48 vote a resolution overturning a Biden administration rule that listed a popular Southwestern game bird under a federal endangered species designation. The White House has vowed President Joe Biden would veto the resolution if it clears Congress. Similar legislation has been introduced in the […]

Calls for clean-up intensify around Kirtland Air Force Base’s spill into ABQ’s groundwater

BY: - May 3, 2023

A decades-old U.S. Air Force jet fuel spill into Albuquerque’s groundwater is garnering renewed attention from officials as concerns rise over a lagging clean-up effort. Eric Olivas, who chairs the city and county’s water utility, sent a letter requesting Rep. Melanie Stansbury to push the Air Force to clean up, as first reported in the […]

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland testifies during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on May 02, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Interior secretary under fire at U.S. Senate hearing over oil and gas leases, public lands

BY: - May 3, 2023

Members of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee used a Tuesday hearing on the Interior Department’s fiscal 2024 budget to voice their displeasure with the administration’s energy production policies to Secretary Deb Haaland.  The strongest criticism came from Republicans on the panel, though Chairman Joe Manchin III, a centrist West Virginia Democrat with […]

A drip sprinkler system feeds barley in a farm at Monte Vista.

Agriculture leaders urge a stronger farm safety net at U.S. Senate farm bill hearing

BY: - May 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — Farm and commodity trade association leaders lobbied for updating commodity programs and strengthening crop insurance programs at a Tuesday hearing of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry committee.  The industry officials said federal crop insurance and the Department of Agriculture’s Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage programs are not serving as […]

Trying to keep New Mexico farming traditions alive through the 2023 farm bill

BY: - May 2, 2023

Fear of losing generations-old farming practices and traditions to gentrification drove agriculturalist Joseluis Ortiz y Muniz to move back to his hometown Dixon in northern New Mexico. He’s a landowner now and takes on leadership roles within the local ag community. Ortiz y Muniz (Genízaro) is also focused on farming the land as his ancestors […]