Environment & Climate Change

Manchin and U.S. Senate Democrats strike a deal on major health, climate, tax package

BY: and - July 28, 2022

WASHINGTON — West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck an agreement Wednesday for a Democrats-only reconciliation package that would allow negotiations on some Medicare prescription drugs, end corporate tax loopholes and address climate change as well as invest in energy projects. President Joe Biden in a statement on […]

After burning over 325,000 acres of Gila wilderness, the Black Fire is mostly out

BY: - July 27, 2022

Southern New Mexico is finally getting some relief after months of firefighters beating back the second-largest blaze in the state. The U.S. Forest Service must further survey the area before calling the fire 100% contained, said spokesperson Punky Moore. Monsoon season was instrumental in containing the fire, and it hasn’t consumed any more acreage, Moore […]

Gap in full federal wildfire compensation is imminent

BY: - July 26, 2022

The federal government is set to stop paying 100% of the expenses related to the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s recorded history in just over a week.  Investigators found in late May that the blame lies squarely with the United States Forest Service. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asked President Joe Biden on Friday to ensure, […]

After fire and flood, ash chokes acequias in northern NM

BY: - July 25, 2022

Grace Vigil peered through the blinds of her mobile home near Mora last week and, seeing the wall of water rushing toward her, realized how few options she had.  To her left was Cañoncito Creek, which had swelled over its banks, growing large and fast enough to carry trees and debris at high speed. To […]

Southern NM struggles to receive funds for damage caused by Black Fire

BY: - July 25, 2022

The Black Fire’s destructive effects still linger in the rural communities in southern New Mexico, and how these small counties and individuals will pay for recovery is still largely uncertain. Commission chair Jim Paxon from Sierra County talked to the Legislative Finance Committee last week about infrastructure damage caused by the fire, and repairs the […]

Cracks in a riverbed where there should be water

Biden lays out new funds for localities on climate, but no national emergency yet

BY: - July 25, 2022

With U.S. Senate negotiations over climate funding stalled, President Joe Biden on Wednesday directed additional spending to help states and cities manage climate disasters — resisting calls from many congressional Democrats to take more aggressive executive action like a declaration of a national climate emergency. Biden also announced steps executive agencies are taking to expand […]

State works to protect Las Vegas’ threatened drinking water supply

BY: - July 22, 2022

The massive fire in the northern part of the state has been threatening the drinking water supply of Las Vegas, N.M., for months now. And though the fire’s nearly out, the problem isn’t going away. The risks of flooding during monsoon season only made it worse, and officials are desperately trying to safeguard Vegas’ watershed. […]

Wasted food is a climate threat that hurts agriculture, Democratic lawmakers say

BY: - July 22, 2022

People need better guidance on food packaging to decide whether or not their food that might have languished on refrigerator or cupboard shelves is still safe to eat, according to members of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and their witnesses. “The ‘use by,’ ‘best by,’ ‘sell by,’ ‘enjoy by,’ the many […]

As aging farmers retire, lawmakers explore how to boost beginning producers

BY: - July 22, 2022

WASHINGTON —   More than half of American farmers will reach retirement age in the next 10 years, but the steep price of entry to start a farm, along with rising input costs and volatile markets, make it tough for young and beginning farmers to take their places. “Farming is inherently a risky business, but […]

After passing US House, Hermits Peak Fire aid act won’t hit the Senate for weeks 

BY: - July 19, 2022

A bipartisan effort to get more money in the hands of victims of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire is on its way to the United States Senate after clearing the House on Thursday, but it won’t be considered again until at least September. The bill is an effort to fully compensate those who lost homes […]

Reforestation Center aims to replant trees in northern NM burn scar

BY: - July 18, 2022

Over 80,000 acres of land are badly charred by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire, and natural regeneration could take hundreds of years. To drop that timespan to just a decade or two, the New Mexico Reforestation Center wants to replant trees. Owen Burney, director of New Mexico State University’s Forestry Research Center, proposed that the […]

New Mexico’s oil and gas revenues are breaking records and complicating budgets

BY: - July 15, 2022

Oil and gas revenues added more than $1.7 billion to New Mexico coffers in the first four months of the year — more than in any other four-month period in state history. A lot more. Records compiled by the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department show that year-on-year, revenues from January through April more than doubled […]