Norma McCallan: Our Living Treasure

Norma McCallan with, from left, her son Chris, County Commission candidate Henry Roybal and Tom Gorman

By Mona Blaber, Chapter communications coordinator, 06/30/14
Norma McCallan, co-chair of the Northern New Mexico Group and a cornerstone of the Rio Grande Chapter, was honored June 22 as a Santa Fe Living Treasure.

The Santa Fe Living Treasures program, celebrating its 30th anniversary, honors people over 70 who make a difference in the community. Last fall, Norma was also chosen by The Santa Fe New Mexican as one of its annual 10 Who Made a Difference.

Taos County streams look pretty good after Water Sentinels testing

By Eric Patterson, Water Sentinels — Rios de Taos, 06/30/14

Water Sentinels — Rios de Taos has resumed its water-testing season. We started with a training session on May 15 attended by 15 volunteers. Our first round of testing began May 19.

Our results show that Taos County streams are looking good, with only a few trouble spots. We are especially interested in keeping track of the Rio Hondo because of large consatruction projects slated by the new owners of Taos Ski Valley.

Water advocates shut out of dairy talks

Aerial view of dairy in Anthony, N.M.

A version of the following article, written by the Citizens Coalition — Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, Amigos Bravos and Socially Responsible Agricultural Project and New Mexico Environmental Law Center — ran in the New Mexico Mercury in June.
Less than four weeks into her governorship, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez had to be reminded by the New Mexico Supreme Court that “Nobody is above the law.” The reason: the governor had tried to prevent recently approved dairy rules, among other new environmentally protective rules, from going into effect.

Mountainair community opposes CO2 pipeline in New Mexico

Abo Ruins are among the site threatened by the pipeline

By Teresa Seamster, Northern New Mexico Group vice chair. 06/30/14
The sweeping open spaces of Abo and Tenabo west of Mountainair are as ancient and majestic as any in the state. It is hard to imagine this area ever becoming industrial or polluted.
Nonetheless, the proposed 213-mile CO2 Lobos pipeline through New Mexico is about to cut through landscapes like this, dismantling cultural areas and destroying underground vegas forever, unless people act.
The people of Mountainair have been taking action.

Report shows dangers of Four Corners coal ash; plant wants 25 more years

Chaco Wash Four Corners Morgan Lake

By Norma McCallan, Chapter vice chair 06.30.14
The Sierra Club released reports in May on some of the nation’s most dangerous coal-ash sites, including the coal-ash storage at Four Corners Power Plant near Fruitland, N.M.

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks designated a national monument

Organ Mountains by Mike Groves

By Dustin Chavez-Davis, Our Wild America associate organizing representative 06.30.14

On May 21, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation that designated New Mexico’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as our country’s newest national monument.

PNM Plans to Waste Tens of Billions of Gallons of Water by Burning Fossil Fuels

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2014
Contact: Jim Mackenzie -350 New Mexico, 505 350-6000
    David Robertson, Sierra Club – Rio Grande Chapter, 505-803-6242

Albuquerque, NM --- The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is squandering a chance to save tens of billions of gallons of water through the year 2033 by investing in large-scale, cost-effective renewable energy. PNM is instead planning to use mostly nuclear, coal, and natural gas, all highly water intensive, to replace the power from two soon to be shuttered stacks at the San Juan Generating Stations in northwestern New Mexico. The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club and 350 New Mexico issued its “PNM Water You Thinking Report” today detailing PNM's plan to unnecessarily consume large amounts of water in power production, which the utility described in their December filing to the Public Regulation Commission (PRC).

Tell Santa Fe County Commission: No strip mining on La Bajada!

By Teresa Seamster 06.12.14

Fifty acres of La Bajada Mesa -- a landmark recognized by the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance as one of New Mexico's Most Endangered Places -- are now under threat of strip mining.

Reducing La Bajada Mesa to crushed basalt for road base would be a travesty. The applicant, Rockology LLC, would also use thousands of gallons of potable water daily just to reduce dust at the site.

The Santa Fe County Commission heard this issue on June 11 and delayed a decision, though 600 people showed up in opposition to the mines.

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter applauds plan to curb carbon pollution

Coal - San Juan

Contact: Camilla Feibelman, 505.715.8388

Albuquerque, NM -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposal for the first-ever national protections from dangerous carbon pollution from existing power plants. Carbon pollution causes climate disruption and is already costing American communities billions of dollars from flooding, super-storms, wildfires, and extreme heat.

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.

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