Four additions to chapter executive team

By Ken Hughes, Nominating Committee Chair

In December, the Rio Grande Chapter welcomed to its Executive Committee four new members and two returning members after elections with unprecedented participation.

Longtime members Laurence Gibson of El Paso and Norma McCallan of Santa Fe return to the committee. The Executive Committee’s new members bring a wealth of talent along with renewed commitment to exploring, enjoying and protecting our environment.

Joining the board are:

El Paso activists join Otero Mesa team

Otero Mesa

By Dan Lorimier, Chapter Conservation Coordinator

In November 2013, El Paso Group activists met to create a campaign plan to gain National Monument status for Otero Mesa. The plan calls for grassroots education and volunteer opportunities as well as media, ecological and Congressional profile-raising and awareness in the area.

This is a new and important voice from Rio Grande Chapter Texans for permanently protecting this vast area that boasts iconic geologic, archaeological and historical records.

Bosque outings for kids


By Camilla Feibelman

The Bosquitos and Kids Climate Campaign are inviting families, friends and especially kids to join us for activities on the last Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m.

Each event will be a unique opportunity to learn about the Rio Grande bosque and the climate and then to take an action. Please mark your calendar:

Sunday, Jan. 26: A visit to the Natural History Museum’s Degrees of Change Exhibit.

Sunday, Feb. 23: A walk in the Bosque and related art project.

Sunday, March 30: A Solar Energy Exploration where kids can link solar panels with toys and more.

A pro-bosque Albuquerque City Council majority


By Richard Barish, Central Group Bosque Issues Chair

Sierra Club and bosque activists volunteered in unprecedented numbers to ensure that Albuquerque has a bosque-friendly City Council.

Concern grows over Kirtland fuel plume

Kirtland Air Force Base aerial photo - Wikipedia

By Jeff Potter and Warren Cox, Central New Mexico Group

In the latest in a series of public meetings held over the last five years, residents of Albuquerque’s Siesta Hills, South San Pedro, Trumbull Village and Homestead neighborhoods packed the Cesar Chavez Community Center on Dec. 4 to continue to voice their collective outrage and concern over the pace of the investigation and remedial actions associated with the decades-old Kirtland Air Force Base fuel plume.


Pipeline for carbon dioxide needs a closer look

Paradox Gas Well

By Denise Fort, Chapter Energy Chair

Mine CO2 and build a pipeline to carry it? Seriously?

Thanks to a call from a citizen, we were alerted that the Bureau of Land Management is considering approval of a pipeline to carry carbon dioxide from a mine in Arizona to the Permian Basin oil developments in Eastern New Mexico.
The project is described here.

Chaco area safe while BLM does inventory

San Juan Basin Badlands - Ceja Pelon 4

By Norma McCallan, Chapter Public Lands Chair

The BLM’s Farmington District has worked out an ambitious plan to inventory it's landscape and use that information for planning in the upcoming public process to amend its dated 2003 Resource Management Plan (RMP).

Coal not going without a fight

Coal Plant - Inflatable

By Nellis Kennedy Howard, Beyond Coal Senior Campaign Representative

Both of New Mexico’s coal plants will soon be burning a lot less of that polluting fuel, thanks to EPA safeguards and the efforts of groups like ours. But utilities and other players continue to double down on this losing hand. Here’s an update on where coal in New Mexico stands:

San Juan Generating Station

Roller coaster for renewables

Solar Roof Top

By Mona Blaber, communications coordinator

Renewable energy’s wild ride started in January, with a move by industry players to reverse the renewable-energy rule that New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission had just passed in December 2012.

New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers and other anti-renewables forces moved in just days after Commissioners Jason Marks and Doug Howe, who had worked to hold utilities accountable for complying with the state Renewable Energy Act, left office.

The saga of the important but complex renewables rule has lasted all year.

Working to boost energy savings

By Mona Blaber, communications coordinator

As renewable energy’s less-glamorous partner in saving the Earth, energy efficiency doesn't get much attention, but the easiest and cheapest way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels had an eventful year in New Mexico.

In 2013, the state Legislature changed the way utilities fund their efficiency efforts required by the Energy Efficiency Act.
Now the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is considering a new rule to implement those changes and other aspects of the law.

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