Environment & Climate Change

COMMENTARY

The Clean Futures Act must not leave behind the voices of Indigenous communities

BY: - February 8, 2022

During this legislative session, I testified to the New Mexico House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee in opposition to HB-6, the “Clean Futures Act.” Although I know Rep. Nathan Small, Speaker Brian Egolf and the other sponsors of this legislation have sincerely good intentions, the draft was significantly flawed in ways that would cause […]

USDA pledges $1B for ‘climate smart’ ag products

BY: - February 8, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to spend up to $1 billion to foster the creation of climate-friendly agricultural and forestry products by offering grants to facilitate their production and the markets to sell them. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon in those industries. “Agriculture is such an exciting but […]

New Mexico Republicans line up against environmental bills

BY: - February 4, 2022

Saturday was a big day for environmental issues at the New Mexico Legislature. The House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee had two game-changing bills on their debate plate: HJR2, the Environmental Rights Act, which would amend the state constitution to make a clean and healthy environment a constitutional right, with the state serving as trustee […]

Lawmakers hope to derail radioactive waste permit

BY: - February 3, 2022

Across the United States, there is about 100,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons development, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reaching the end of their safety and environmental reviews for a proposal to build a storage facility for that […]

White House methane plan funds orphan well cleanup, rewards reduced farm emissions

BY: - February 2, 2022

The federal government will provide $1.15 billion this year to help states cap defunct oil and gas wells, the White House said Monday, as part of a broad plan to reduce methane emissions. The government-wide methane reduction plan comes about two months after President Joe Biden joined a pledge at the United Nations Climate Conference […]

Federal judge cites climate effect in canceling Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale

BY: - January 31, 2022

A federal judge invalidated leases to drill for oil and gas in a broad swath of the Gulf of Mexico, telling the Biden administration to weigh climate impacts before allowing development. The ruling late Thursday handed a victory to environmental groups that had challenged the Interior Department’s move to comply with a separate court order […]

Bill spurring New Mexico hydrogen production stalls in committee

BY: - January 28, 2022

A House committee on Thursday tabled a bill aimed at making New Mexico a hub of hydrogen production, adding a major hurdle for one of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature policy proposals this legislative session. The 6-4 vote to table the bill included two Democrats and came after six hours of debate in the House […]

New Mexico Downwinders demand recognition, justice

BY: - January 27, 2022

The story of the Trinity Test Site is mapped onto the bodies of thousands of New Mexicans, slipped between stories of losing family member after family member to cancer.  For Tina Cordova, bringing light to the legacy from the secretive testing of the first atomic bomb near thousands of people in the deserts of Southern […]

Renewable energy tax breaks pull big public support in NM

BY: - January 24, 2022

Three pieces of legislation offering tax incentives for renewable energy use saw broad support this weekend even as they were passed through committee on a partisan vote.  One bill benefits New Mexicans with solar panel systems, another for those with geothermal systems and the third offers tax incentives to kickstart renewable energy storage systems at […]

New data show massive climate-warming leaks by NM oil and gas operators

BY: - January 24, 2022

In New Mexico, new state rules sparked a dramatic increase in reported incidents of vented and flared natural gas in 2021 — and reveal that the oil and gas industry has been losing vastly more of the climate-change-driving fossil fuel than previously reported. “The state’s updated reporting requirements were long overdue,” says Jon Goldstein, senior director […]

Anticipating barrage of lawsuits, state’s top water officials ask for more employees

BY: - January 20, 2022

Officials in charge of New Mexico’s water said they need more staff to fend off lawsuits clawing at the state’s water supply, which is limited and shrinking. They expect more court battles to come as human-caused climate change increases average temperatures and aridity in the Southwest. “Controversies arise about waters that are crossing state boundaries, […]

Federal pipeline standards backed by top energy regulator after Colonial Pipeline hack

BY: - January 20, 2022

New federal powers are needed to prevent major energy disruptions like the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that left the East Coast short of gas at the pumps for days, the chairman of the federal commission overseeing energy and some U.S. House Democrats said Wednesday. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee discussed a proposal by […]