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.

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


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


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


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.

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