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PRC approves damaging changes to renewables rule

Solar - City of Santa Fe - 1 MW © DVW

For Immediate Release:
April 16, 2014

Rio Grande Chapter statement on PRC decision to make damaging change to cost calculations in renewables rule

SANTA FE, NM - The Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday voted to make a damaging change to the rule that enforces New Mexico’s renewable-energy law.

Counsel Rick Blumenfeld deceptively told the commission that his recommendation addressed concerns of commenters and failed to tell the commission that most commenters had reached a consensus to keep the current rule intact.


N.M. Environment Department stops enforcing water safeguards for dairies

dairy cows dairies

By Michael Jensen, Amigos Bravos, and Dan Lorimier 03/24/14

When the Martinez Administration’s Water Quality Control Commission compromised public health and the environment by adopting the Copper Rule in September, it also created an alarming precedent to allow pollution of the state’s groundwater rather than requiring prevention of pollution.

The dairy industry was quick to jump at the chance for similar treatment, petitioning the commission to gut the recently enacted Dairy Rule after less than a year of implementation.

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What it's like living next to a dairy

Jana Hughes

By Jana Hughes 03/21/14
As a rural resident living in an agricultural area for the majority of my life, I have spent many of those years living near a large-scale industrial dairy operation in the southeastern quadrant of the state.
Industrial confinement dairies produce massive amounts of manure because they confine thousands of animals on too little land. The untreated waste often migrates off-site and into the groundwater and the air I breathe. Land surrounding my home is used to dispose of the manure, bringing the untreated waste even closer to my home.


New staffers for New Mexico

Robert Tohe

By Roger Singer, Senior Regional Organizing Manager 03/24/14
I would like to introduce you to our two newest Sierra Club national staff based in New Mexico, Dustin Chavez-Davis and Robert Tohe.
As key staff members of the Club’s national Our Wild America campaign, they both have already been hard at work to better protect the remaining wildlands of New Mexico, and to protect our state’s air and water quality from dirty fuels extraction on our public lands.
Both Robert and Dustin hail originally from New Mexico.


Budget fights stall legislative progress

Sen. Peter Wirth

By Dan Lorimier, Chapter Conservation coordinator 03/24/14
New Mexico in February finished its “short” 30-day session of the Legislature, and as usual, budget battles between the executive branch and the legislative branch bogged down the process.
By the time resolution was reached on the budget, so many bills were being held in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, waiting for a settled and final budget, that there was little time to consider this backlog before the session ended Feb. 20.


New Mexico's wildlife mismanagement

By Mary Katherine Ray, Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife chair 03/30/14
Seismic changes have taken place in the last few months among New Mexico’s wildlife-managing administrators.
First, the director of New Mexico Game and Fish suddenly resigned last fall. Still no reason has been given for his departure. And the Game Commission has yet to begin a search for his replacement.


PNM coal replacement needs more renewables

Solar - City of Santa Fe - Green Jobs

By Mona Blaber, Rio Grande Chapter communications coordinator, 03/31/14
The Santa Fe City Council in March joined citizens and community groups to ask PNM and the Public Regulation Commission to rethink the types of energy being considered to replace the 924 megawatts of coal from San Juan Generating Station that will stop polluting skies in a few years.
Last year, PNM reached a deal with the state of New Mexico and the Environmental Protection Agency to close two of the four units at the coal-fired San Juan power plant.


Public Regulation Commission renewables rule safe for now

Solar - City of Santa Fe - Sierra Club tour 1 © DVW

By Mona Blaber, Chapter communications coordinator, 03/24/14
The yearlong saga involving the rule that enforces New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Act could conclude soon, with a happy ending.
As you know, last year the Public Regulation Commission considered rulemaking changes that would have weakened enforcement of New Mexico’s law requiring utilities to provide 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020.


Science panel rejects Fish and Wildlife wolf plan

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife chair 03/28/14

The saga and shame of the proposal to delist wolves from endangered-species protection wears on.
Wolves have already been delisted by an act of Congress in the three northern Rockies states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and the three Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Last year, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to remove wolves from the Endangered Species list nationwide (excluding Mexican wolves) based on a reclassification of the species Canis lupus.


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