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.


Renewables group exposed

By Camilla Feibelman, chapter director

Albuquerque city councilors, solar companies and business and environmental groups gathered Dec. 11 to call on the city, UNM and Intel to withdraw from an industry group that tried to halt PNM’s plans to build three solar facilities in the Albuquerque area in 2014.


We can do it – without an air laser

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By Jody Benson, Pajarito Group Newsletter Editor

Here’s a solution for three critical environmental issues: (1) coastal-land loss by a climate-caused rise in sea levels; (2) overconsumption; and (3) excessive population.

The solution? Use an air-based laser to melt the plastic in both of the Great Pacific Garbage Patches (in the eastern and western Pacific convergence zones) to create a consolidated plastic island, then drag one to North America, and one to Japan.


Aim for Zero Waste in the new year

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By Jessie Emerson, Zero Waste coordinator

Another year has passed. Zero Waste has been active and met our goals for the year. We wanted to help reduce Santa Fe’s ecological footprint and to collaborate with the city, other organizations, schools and neighborhoods. Helping to pass the plastic bag ordinance in Santa Fe, we met those goals and our goal of education when we showed the film “Bag It” to members.


Focus on budget at Capitol

Roundhouse - by Dan Lorimier

By Dan Lorimier, Rio Grande Chapter Lobbyist

Our Legislature meets again on Jan. 21 for a “short” 30-day session. Proposed legislation must either have a direct impact on the state budget or on a short list of issues described by the governor. This session, the governor’s “call list” includes water issues facing New Mexico.

Every legislative session offers bills and memorials that offer the Rio Grande Chapter opportunities to improve or protect our land, air and water as well as legislation that proposes to sell off and threaten our priceless natural heritage.


Columbine Hondo wilderness study area legislation introduced in Congress

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By Norma McCallan

The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area near Taos has a better chance of being upgraded to a full-fledged Wilderness area. The Senate’s Energy & Natural Resources subcommittee on Public Lands recently held a hearing on the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act (SB776), at which our senators, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, testified. It must now go before the full committee. Introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman in the 112th Congress, this bill had stalled, along with many other conservation bills.


April-May-June 2014 hikes and other outings

Bisti Wilderness © David Van Winkle

Outing sign-up is by contact with leader. To go you’ll need to sign a waiver that the leader will provide. Dogs only allowed as noted. Trips are normally FREE (pay when carpooling) and open to non-members (spread the word!), though we do like it if you join the Club to increase our local and national clout.

There are many, many outings, click headline above or "Read More" below to see them!

April


Intel, Albuquerque, UNM fund effort to halt plans for New Mexico solar facilities

Albuquerque city councilors, solar companies as well as business and environmental groups on Wednesday called on the City, UNM and Intel to withdraw from an industry lobbying group that is trying to halt PNM’s plans to build three solar facilities in the Albuquerque area in 2014.

This, solar industry representatives said, is part of a long history of the industry group’s opposition to renewable energy and energy efficiency.


Bosque Education Guide Workshop - Jan. 3, 2014 - ABQ

Rio Grande Canada Geese - photo by Jeff Potter

The Bosque Education Guide Workshop

Friday, January 3, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 4: 30 p.m. at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park


Rio Grande Vision update from City of Albuquerque - Dec. 2013


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