Environment & Climate Change

Proposed $2.5 billion for wildfire victims is almost triple the last time feds lit NM on fire

BY: - September 28, 2022

The $2.5 billion included in the new congressional spending plan greatly exceeds the amount Congress awarded the last time the federal government accidentally let a prescribed burn escape in New Mexico, according to a Source New Mexico review. Despite the high number, some state lawmakers are worried about the federal government’s long-term commitment to restoring […]

Without settlement, Rio Grande Supreme Court case returns to trial

BY: - September 28, 2022

The Texas and New Mexico fight over Rio Grande water is headed to court in Iowa early next year unless a settlement can be reached within weeks — a shrinking prospect attorneys said as they prepare for trial. “Settlement was not successful,” Lee Leininger, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, said of the […]

Stopgap spending bill advances in U.S. Senate after Manchin pulls his energy plan

BY: - September 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate advanced a catchall spending package Tuesday that would provide billions to aid Ukraine’s war effort, help communities throughout the country recover from natural disasters and keep the federal government funded through mid-December.  Democrats and Republicans voted 72-23 to move the measure toward a final vote later this week — a […]

Billions for natural disasters, home energy included in stopgap spending bill in Congress

BY: - September 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — Congress is on track to approve billions in funding this week to help offset rising home heating and cooling costs, as well as boost aid for communities recovering from natural disasters.   The package, unveiled overnight, would provide $2.5 billion in assistance for the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire that scorched much of New Mexico […]

Congress spending plan includes $2.5 billion for Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire victims

BY: - September 27, 2022

The new congressional spending plan announced overnight includes $2.5 billion for those affected by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire, according to the bill text.  The spending package funds the U.S. government until Dec. 16 and includes a couple of other Democratic priorities, including $12 billion for Ukraine and $20 million to help Jackson, Miss. after […]

During NM visit, Pelosi hints aid to fire victims will come sooner than expected 

BY: - September 27, 2022

Those who suffered damage or injury due to the biggest fire in state history could be in line to receive substantial compensation sooner than expected, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a visit to Albuquerque on Monday.   The Hermits Peak Fire Assistance Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-Las Vegas, N.M.), requires the […]

A petroleum PR blitz in New Mexico

BY: - September 27, 2022

In the past seven months, oil and gas companies have dramatically stepped up their outreach and public relations spending at some of New Mexico’s best-known, best-loved events. The industry also picked up an additional public relations bump from the not unexpected news that oil and gas revenues will add an additional $2.5 billion to next year’s state […]

Northern NM voters weigh officials’ disaster response and stance on climate change

BY: - September 26, 2022

While people in Mora County continue to recuperate from the state’s largest wildfire and ongoing floods, the General Election looms. Officials’ disaster-recovery efforts are fresh on people’s minds as early voting starts up in October. After the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire tore through northern New Mexico, candidates’ positions on the environment and how to secure […]

Clash over climate change funding emerging in farm bill debate

BY: - September 26, 2022

WASHINGTON —   As lawmakers begin envisioning the next farm bill, some U.S. House Republicans are wary of making climate change a priority for farmers and ranchers. The pushback from Republicans at a Tuesday hearing came as the Biden administration has tried to make significant new investments in climate change mitigation on farmland, last week […]

Manchin’s energy permitting plan roils U.S. Senate and House Democrats

BY: and - September 23, 2022

WASHINGTON – The energy permitting proposal centrist Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III made a condition of his support for a major Senate Democratic measure would impose timelines on federal agencies responsible for approving energy projects, according to text of the measure released late Wednesday.  Congressional Democrats are deeply divided over the Manchin permitting bill, […]

New map shows where burn scar threatens historic acequias

BY: - September 22, 2022

After months of effort, contractors with the New Mexico Acequia Association have a clearer picture of the 200-year old acequias in the burn scar of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire.  The irrigation ditches are carved through much of northern New Mexico, and there are about 80 in the 530-square-mile burn scar north of Las Vegas, […]

As government roadblocks pile up for acequias in the burn scar, visions spring of a gran limpia

BY: - September 22, 2022

Those who rely on historic irrigation ditches in the burn scar of the biggest fire in state history continue to face government roadblocks as they try to get acequias flowing and life to return to the charred landscape.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency only recently verbally agreed to accept applications from local acequias for funding […]