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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.


N.M. Environment Department stops enforcing water safeguards for dairies

dairy cows dairies

By Michael Jensen, Amigos Bravos, and Dan Lorimier 03/24/14

When the Martinez Administration’s Water Quality Control Commission compromised public health and the environment by adopting the Copper Rule in September, it also created an alarming precedent to allow pollution of the state’s groundwater rather than requiring prevention of pollution.

The dairy industry was quick to jump at the chance for similar treatment, petitioning the commission to gut the recently enacted Dairy Rule after less than a year of implementation.

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What it's like living next to a dairy

Jana Hughes

By Jana Hughes 03/21/14
As a rural resident living in an agricultural area for the majority of my life, I have spent many of those years living near a large-scale industrial dairy operation in the southeastern quadrant of the state.
Industrial confinement dairies produce massive amounts of manure because they confine thousands of animals on too little land. The untreated waste often migrates off-site and into the groundwater and the air I breathe. Land surrounding my home is used to dispose of the manure, bringing the untreated waste even closer to my home.


New Mexico's wildlife mismanagement

By Mary Katherine Ray, Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife chair 03/30/14
Seismic changes have taken place in the last few months among New Mexico’s wildlife-managing administrators.
First, the director of New Mexico Game and Fish suddenly resigned last fall. Still no reason has been given for his departure. And the Game Commission has yet to begin a search for his replacement.


Science panel rejects Fish and Wildlife wolf plan

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife chair 03/28/14

The saga and shame of the proposal to delist wolves from endangered-species protection wears on.
Wolves have already been delisted by an act of Congress in the three northern Rockies states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and the three Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Last year, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to remove wolves from the Endangered Species list nationwide (excluding Mexican wolves) based on a reclassification of the species Canis lupus.


What must New Mexicans give up for a CO2 pipeline?

abo ruins.JPG

By Rebecca Anthony, Mountainair resident, and Teresa Seamster 03/14/14

What are New Mexicans sacrificing to global companies like Kinder-Morgan by being compelled to grant easements so hazardous materials can be piped across hundreds of miles of private, public and tribal lands?

This January, in a packed meeting hall in the Alpine Alley Café in Mountainair, residents, ranchers and surrounding landowners listened and asked questions for hours on what a proposed carbon-dioxide pipeline could do to their community.


Fate of Gila River to be determined in 2014

Gila Lower Box by Anthony Howell

By Allyson Siwik, Chapter executive committee, 03/24/14

Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA) into law, and with a sweep of the pen he set into motion a process that could change the Gila River forever.

New Mexico must decide at the end of the year if it will move forward with a Gila River diversion or instead implement cost-effective non-diversion alternatives to meet southwest New Mexico’s future water-supply needs.


Join the team! Volunteer web editor needed

The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter is looking for a web editor — someone who can update the website and add events, stories, action alerts and other items.
The commitment is only a few hours a month, but it makes a big difference to our communications efforts. Please contact monablaber@gmail.com if you’re interested.


Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks supporters deliver 15,000 petitions

Organ Mountains petition signers Dustin Chavez-Davis

By Dustin Chavez-Davis
Our Wild America
The campaign to establish the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico is gaining momentum following a visit to the area in late January from Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and delivery of 15,000 petition signatures asking President Obama to designate the monument.


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