The Sierra Club and Natural Gas

02/02/2012 From Michael Brune, Executive Director

Have you ever had to turn away millions of dollars? It sounds crazy, but here's why the Sierra Club chose to do exactly that.

In 2010, soon after I became the organization's executive director, I learned that beginning in 2007 the Sierra Club had received more than $26 million from individuals or subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy, one of the country's largest natural gas companies. At the same time I learned about the donation, we at the Club were also hearing from scientists and from local Club chapters about the risks that natural gas drilling posed to our air, water, climate, and people in their communities. We cannot accept money from an industry we need to change. Very quickly, the board of directors, with my strong encouragement, cut off these donations and rewrote our gift acceptance policy. Let me tell you how it came about.

Hard-won victory on dairy discharge

By Dan Lorimier, Conservation coordinator, Southern and El Paso groups

After roughly two and a half years of effort, the Rio Grande Chapter has successfully helped protect New Mexico’s precious but highly threatened groundwater that 9 out of 10 of us rely on for drinking.

Sustainable Eldorado Residents Alliance



We are a large group of committed Eldorado area residents forming an ecological partnership with our environment by conserving natural resources and inspiring action to ensure a sustainable and resilient future for our community.

Water-saving successes in El Paso and Santa Fe

Rainwater Harvesting System (photo by Janet Thew)

By Mike Weinberg, Chapter Water Chair

We all by now have heard that worldwide shortages of fresh water are expected in the coming decades due to increased demand from an ever-growing global population and anticipated drying of the earth’s climate.

Development of new water supplies and better management of existing sources will be necessary in order to meet the challenges that lie ahead. We can all help by conserving this precious resource.

ABQ Energy Code Rollback a Step in Wrong Direction

Green Building

Published in the ABQ Journal on August 10

by Shrayas Jatkar, Sierra Club; City Councilor Ike Benton and Tammy Fiebelkorn, eSolved.

We strongly oppose the move to scrap Albuquerque's energy-saving building code. The guaranteed outcomes from such a move are greater energy waste, higher monthly utility bills for consumers and increased pollution.

EPA Protects Public Health, Essential Regional Economic Resource with San Juan Generating Station Ruling

Desert Rock

Sierra Club Applauds EPA Action

August 5 - Farmington, NM – The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6 office today announced its final decision to require the installation of industry-standard pollution controls on the San Juan Generating Station coal-fired power plant near Farmington, New Mexico. The pollution controls will substantially reduce hazardous air pollution from the aging coal-fired power plant, protecting both public health and tourism revenue at nearby National Parks. For years, pollution from the San Juan Generating Station has marred views at National Parks such as the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde, threatening local economies that depend on tourism revenue from park visitors.

Find Savings In Energy Efficiency

By Chuck Noble / Attorney for Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy. Originally published on Sunday, July 24, 2011 in the Albuquerque Journal

On July 18, PNM filed a document with the Public Regulation Commission called an Integrated Resource Plan. PNM’s Integrated Resource Plan is intended to provide a road map to the company and regulators for what new power plants or other supply- or demand-side resources will need to be acquired to meet customer electric demands until 2030.

Speak out for Energy Savings!

Green Building

Once again, the Martinez Administration has chosen ideology over common sense.

Last month, we told you about Governor Martinez' efforts to roll back our excellent, energy- and money-saving building codes. Thousands of you responded by asking the Administration to keep our codes intact.

Unfortunately, the scene at the Construction Industries Commission meeting, where this issue was decided, was a farce. There was no debate and no mention of the public meetings that had been held. The commission voted 7-1 to scrap the energy conservation code adopted last year.

This roll-back of the building codes increases the cost of new home ownership!

Write a letter to the editor of your local paper -- let them know how crazy this is.

What the trash left behind

Los Angeles Landfill view looking north towards Balloon Museum

Vacated Albuquerque landfills leave environmental legacy to deal with for decades
By Jeff Potter, Central Group

Out of sight but not out of mind? A large city such as Albuquerque vibrantly breathes, consumes and creates multitudes of waste daily, yet we citizens go on unaware of the cumulative effect. According to the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, the city pledges to “monitor, characterize and, if necessary, clean up eight additional former City-owned and/or operated landfills to protect the environment and the public’s health and safety.”

New Mexicans Decry Construction Industries Commission, Vote to Revoke Energy-Saving Building Code

Governor Martinez plan to scrap 2009 NM Energy Conservation Code will prompt energy waste, higher utility bills and increased pollution

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The state’s Construction Industries Commission voted today to scrap the 2009 NM Energy Conservation Code (NMECC) that was adopted in 2010 after a series of open and public hearings that included evidence from stakeholders across the state. At the same time, the Commission voted to adopt a new energy-wasting code that would meet the bare minimum federal standards without any of the New Mexico-specific features that were incorporated into the 2009 NMECC.

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