Thursday, March 31, 2011

Amateur Hour

Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran has allegedly committed a faux pas of biblical proportions by allowing a sample form for political reporting to be downloaded with racist humor.  According to Eli Lee at the Justice League PAC, Duran sent out a form that showed the following.

National Organization of the Beer Drinkers and Guzzlers
Sheryl Powdrell-Culbertson
246678 North General Dwight D. Eisenhower Boulevard Northeast

Lee said, “Sheryl Powdrell-Culbertson” is a merger of the names of the aforementioned African American legislators and “JeffersonDavis” was the President of the Confederated States of America."

It is kind of hard to believe that this would slip through.  Lee has demanded she resign from office.  At the very least someone's head should roll.  Duran, a close ally of the Governor, has some explaining to do.  I also look forward to statements from the GOP and the Governor.

Duran is a big persecutor of undocumented workers with drivers licenses as is the Governor.

Obama Energy

President Obama is getting a lot of crap from the bought and paid for Senators and Congressmen of the oil and gas industry.  They seem to think that Obama's quest for energy independence from foreign oil is really a secret desire to raise gasoline prices so Americans can suffer.  I wonder if sometimes congress people who say things like this should be required to spend a little time with a shrink every six months.  Make that a law.  Maybe every three months for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

This kind of thinking is like my hunter/killer cat Ajax sitting in the bird bath.  It is not a way to acheive long range success in the bird snatching arena.  He might be a little too visible.  Kind of like overly ridiculous charges against the President.  Just ask the oil industry who is ranking very low right now in the polls.

Channel 13 did a story on a local PR guy(looking for business I suppose) who did a poll on what industries and professions ranked lowest with the public in New Mexico.  Oil and Gas industry was in the cellar along with lawyers and broadcast journalists.  If they polled on bloggers I am sure we would be down there too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The Governor is defending her appointment of Darren White to the Judicial Standards Commission.  Sad.  Now, where does this leave Mayor Berry?  White has brought ridicule to Berry by trying to ride out the controversial appointment. Berry needs to show some courage and tell White that the Commission seat will interfere with his duties as City Public Safety Officer.  He will certainly regret it if he doesn't.  Berry must have an inkling of that since I didn't see any quotes from White on recent positive crime statistics.

As Mayor, when I announced falling crime stats the Albuquerque Journal would always find fault with them.  But then I was a democrat.

With a tremendous turn out of 6%, the voters of Rio Rancho have turned down $22 million in Road Bonds.  No more complaining about traffic allowed.  I have a feeling a lot of those voters were tea party types who think public services are provided by the tooth fairy for free.....just kidding.  It is a difficult time to get voters on board for anything.

Senator Bingaman has reintroduced the Rio Grande del Norte Wilderness and Conservation bill in Congress.  The bill would protect 216,000 acres in Taos and Rio Arriba Counties.  It would be a great departing gift from Jeff if he can get it passed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Those Taxes

While Governor Martinez and the Tea Party types rail against high taxes in New Mexico, Forbes magazine has put Albuquerque up with high marks as a place for retired people to live.  One reason, you guessed it, low taxes.  This seems to be a little of a disconnect doesn't it.  I have always said our property taxes were pretty low compared to just about everywhere else I have been.  But to hear the GOP in this state you would think things were pretty oppressive in that tax category.

This all comes on the heels of the outing of General Electric Corp. who paid no taxes last year.  Most of those evil government employees who draw a pension paid more than GE.  Can you believe it?  Anyone who collects unemployment most likely will pay a few dollars, but corporate America and its big investors get away with murder.  Sure, they provide jobs and growth, but they should pay something.  Shouldn't they?

Monday, March 28, 2011


I read in the Journal today that City Councillor Brad Winter, an employee of the public school system, is unhappy with the lobbyist the city uses in Washington, DC to bring home the gravy.  John O'Donnell has been there for a long time and I always thought he was pretty good at what he does.  So have most of the Mayors.  He served during my term as Mayor.   What does this  have to do with Winters being a school employee?  Well, as far as I can tell his employers have kept on their lobbyists in Santa Fe for an awful long time too.  Maybe he should start throwing stones there.  APS has been represented by former city councillor and county commissioner Alan Armijo and attorney Art Melendrez.   Except for the fact that the APS lobbyists are pretty good also.

I see where the Albuquerque Journal has now opined that maybe the Governor ought to reconsider her problematical appointment of City Public Safety Chief Darren White to the Judicial Standards Commission.  It will be interesting to see if she ignores everyone's warnings on this appointment.  Will she have the courage to say, "it appears this may not be a good fit."  If she doesn't then, once again, Mayor Berry should exercise his authority over White and ask him to turn down the offer.

Paul Krugman of the New York Times did a great column today on my colleague Bill Cronon.  I wrote about him on my Saturday Blog.

I am in a losing battle with pollen.  My eyes, throat, chest feel like they have been worked over by a hammer.  I was up for two hours last night.  Enchantment takes a vacation from New Mexico every spring to get away from the Juniper pollen.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Colleague

Bill Cronon is one of my fellow Council Members  at The Wilderness Society and is a Professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin.  He recently inked an oped in the New York Times which is a calling out of the actions of the Wisconsin republican governor who is attempting to kill unions.  You must read it here.

It is essentially an essay on the republican party killing the programs they used to fight for.  Cronon also inked his first ever blog taking a scholarly look at what led to this.  It is a good read.

Now the republican party in Wisconsin has filed a information request to get copies of all Cronon's emails from his University accounts in Madison.  Does this sound strangely like retaliation?  Does it sound like an attempt at silencing a scholar?  Does it sound like Senator Joseph McCarthy's tactics.  Damn right it does.

All this reminds me of a police state.  They are always watchful and waiting to pounce much like my cat Hermes does in the kitchen.  I don't know what he wants to attack, but he will know it when he sees it.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Albuquerque Public Safety Officer Darren White confirmed my earlier blog saying he was not fit to serve on the Judicial Standards Commission because of his partisanship.  He was a poor selection from the start for the Governor and now he has embarrassed her by  by shooting from the hip and saying in the Journal this morning that his critics are 'soft on crime and soft on corruption democrats."

Mayor Berry should consider giving White a choice of keeping his job with the City of Albuquerque or staying on the commission.  This reflects on Berry's efforts on trying to be a Mayor for all citizens and not just right wingers.  Berry is a reasonable and thoughtful man and it will take some courage on his part to do this.  We could not expect that kind of courage to come out of the Governor's office.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cat Checkin---Relax

Hermes and Ajax are one year old now.  We have had them for ten months.  We are definitely now 'cat people'.  Both of them are affectionate lap sitters and generally entertain us.  They are relaxing.

We need it.  I just got home from a breezy and cool golf game at Twin Warriors only to discover that the powers that be at the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District have decided not to allow public comment during a session of the board on endangered species with in the district.  How does this serve the people?  The district spent $20,000 on this issue in December alone and yet they think the public should be muzzled.  The Chairman of the Board, Janet Jarrett and the attorney Chuck Dumars are responsible for this, along with a majority of the board.

The management and board of the District continue to operate in the stone age.  For a while there it looked like the media was starting to pay attention.  Now they are not.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Extending Partisanship

Few people would have noticed this little tidbit.  Governor Martinez has appointed Albuquerque Public Safety Chief Darren White to the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission.  It is the first time that I know of that such a partisan political figure is being foisted on this independent group that works to keep the Judicial branch of government professional and ethical.  Not only is White partisan, he is from the extreme right wing of the republican party.  He served as bush/cheney campaign head in Bernalillo county.  He was recently handed a no confidence vote by law enforcement officers he oversees.  And this is the same Darren White who was found ethically challenged in his actions as Sheriff of Bernalillo County for taking large amounts of cash from people who were arrested and then never giving it back. He and the county now have to cough up millions for repayments and punitive damages.  How can he possibly judge the ethics of a Judge?

In the meantime New Mexico loses some great talent from the Cultural Affairs Department.  Hollis Gillespie was told to hit the road by Governor Martinez.  Gillespie is the head of the Natural History Museum.  I guess this professional wasn't in line with republican political dinosaur policy. (See Darren White).  And the head of the Hispanic Cultural Center is waving goodbye to take a post in Washington, DC.  Estevan Rael-Galvez will work with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Domestic Issues

It has been a raucous couple of weeks.  First we see Japan in catastrophe.  Then Americans and Europeans bombing together in Libya. (Mostly us but they signed on right up front.)

During these high intensity times we tend to forget that are lots of things that still need attention within our political borders.  One thing we learn from a small nation like Japan is that there are not many places to run away too when you really need to leave quickly.  That is a problem we don't have in our great landscapes in the United States.

Right now we don't need to outrun Tsunamis.  We do need to outrun off road vehicles though in our fragile western deserts and landscapes.  This is a problem that keeps getting worse.  Just look at the advertising the ORV people do on TV.  Pretty much tearing up the peace, quiet, watersheds and landscapes.  There are responsible riders, but it only takes a few to do great damage.

In Utah right now the Greater Canyonlands area, consisting of a million acres surrounding the Canyonlands National Monument, are under assault by off road vehicles.  There is an attempt underway to get Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to administratively ban ORV traffic from over a thousand miles of trails that have been scraped into existence by irresponsible riders.  Another 15,000 miles would be left open in other areas nearby.  That should be enough.

These areas that are requested for exclusion from ORVs have extremely vulnerable streams, vegetation, and wildlife habitat.  They need to be saved.  So we can always have a place to run off too.

You can send a letter asking the Secretary to defend this American Treasure.  Here is a site to make it easy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Journal Head Scratchers

The Albuquerque Journal is telegraphing their bias today on how they will maneuver their coverage of the upcoming race to replace Senator Jeff Bingaman who is stepping down.  In a story today asking for comments on the Libyan bombing from the state congressional delegation they included former Congresswoman Heather Wilson.  It is bizarre.  How about a little more subtlety from the publisher and owner?  I know that Heather, a great supporter of the bush/cheney team, has announced her candidacy, but honestly she is not there yet!

Albuquerque School Board member David Robbins, who was forced out of a position with Mayor Berry's office, has landed in a state job at Tax and Revenue.  This is one of those political hires that Governor Martinez is always attacking the former administration of Bill Richardson for.  I wonder if the Journal will point that out.

Journal science reporter John Fleck had a thoughtful piece on Sandia Lab scientists's take on climate change.  I hope the editorial board looks at the story seriously and uses its information on future opinions.  Really you guys, it is not a plot to install an authoritarian government as Harrison Schmitt opined on his blog.

And what ever happened to Albuquerque Public Safety Chief Darren White?  Has he been banished to his office from his constant media appearances after his no confidence vote by the police union?  I hope so.  It is good to see the Police Chief on the air now instead of the p.r. seeking White.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate Juniper Pollen?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Session? What Session?

It is amazing that so few people I know ever talked about the legislature while it was in session.  Or the Governor's authoritarian approach to dealing with the lawmakers.  I thought about Governor Martinez's poor communication with the egos in the chambers and I had to marvel how third rate it was.  Is it true she met with the Senate Leader Michael Sanchez only once in 60 days?  She even managed to irritate conservative democrats like Tim Jennings from Roswell.

I ventured into the Albuquerque Journal archives to see what Bill Richardson had to say after his first session in 2003.  Here it is, "I think the citizens feel the state is now moving forward," the new governor later told reporters. "I think they sense a new era has started."
Here is what Martinez said, ever the partisan campaigner,  "I will continue to work hard to fulfill the promises I made to New Mexicans."

One statement seems pretty positive about the future.  One seems to denote failure and negativity.  And now Martinez wants to bring some of  these divisive issues into a special session that deals with reapportionment next September.   That is throwing gasoline on the fire.

Once again, the Governor must fire her campaign managers from the Governor's office and hire some seasoned policy wonks who understand issues and the workings of the Legislature.  It would help move New Mexico Forward.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Moon Perigee

Bobbi and I went up to Pat Hurley Park last night to watch the moon rise.   The Earth's Companion is in perigee and wont be this close again until I am dead most likely.  Like 29 years.  I tried some High Dynamic Range Photography, but because of the long exposure times it just didn't work to well.  This one photo is the combination of three separately exposed frames.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Eat More Chikin

I love those ads with the cows saying "Eat more Chikin".  I thought of that today when I saw that great botanist, water specialist, biologist, and soil conservationist Congressman Ben Ray Lujan say that Forest Service scientists are wrong to cut back on cow grazing in the forest watersheds.  Why, they are all evil mean spirited people aren't they?  Lujan, who had strong backing from the environmental community, just sucker slapped them by siding with the livestock industry in keeping too many cows in the forests.  No matter there is drought.  No matter the forests are in great fire danger.  The charges that the government scientists want to destroy their lives is just ludicrous.  Just good ole boy politics by the new congressman in the north.  What the cowboys want, the cowboys get.  These are the same folks who voted for our new right wing governor.  I wonder if Ben has thought about that before throwing science under the bus.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


The Journal's story on the plague of Juniper pollen this morning was timely.  It is the one thing that really gets to me.  Like having someone pour sand into your eyes and then standing on your chest.  Last week when we were playing golf at Santa Ana one of the players brushed up against a Juniper and a cloud of pollen blew into the air.  It was clearly visible.  Every morning now I am blowing out my sinuses with a squeeze bottle full of saline solution.  It is a disgusting process but it helps.

I can certainly put up with this for a six week period.  New Mexico is such a stable place.  No hurricanes, few tornadoes, rare ice storms, tiny earthquakes, and rare flooding.  Pollen doesn't seem like such a big deal.  Especially when viewed in the light of the situation in Japan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wedgies vs. Nucs

Governor Susana Martinez and Secretary of State Diana Duran with the help of the Albuquerque Journal continue their  xenophobia rants by trying to scare the bejesus out of people on foreign nationals  voting in our elections.  That will be a small number but it will be milked to the max in the name of right wing politics.  Maybe it would help if they worked hard on getting our own citizens to vote.  Less than half do so.  At any rate, as the number of hispanics grow in our state as evidenced by the latest census data, these hispanic elected officials should do less work on fear mongering wedge issues and more on real policy.

 For example, here is one current policy issue they could work on.  Governor Martinez should be asking for tours of the nuclear reactors/facilities at Los Alamos Labs and Sandia Labs and she should ask for assurances that they are safe.  I have no reason to think they are not safe, but shouldn't a Governor be on the look out for us on such issues?  Has she even asked for a phone briefing on these issues?  It is somewhat a timely question.  Does the Governor have a science advisor that could be put to work on writing up a report for her?  All of this would show real leadership.

Also, have you found it interesting that there have been no statements out of the Labs on the current crisis?  Wouldn't you expect to see their experts on CNN and other outlets explaining what is going on?  My friend Rodger brought this up and opined that the labs have turned inward and have little regard for being transparent on big issues.  He said there used to be large public information staffs that were proactive.  Now they are invisible.  I would have to agree.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The no job creation agenda of the Martinez administration and its GOP backers continues.  Now Martinez is spending her time checking to see if illegal immigrants have voted by running lists of drivers license holders against the voter files.  They only need to find one so they can continue their xenophobia.  They really need to find better things to do.  That may not happen as she is a long time prosecutor and enjoys spending her time prosecuting.  Time to get out of that mode Governor and start working positively.

Here is a note I sent to a friend in Washington last night.
"Please tell the president to not offer subsidies to the solar industry.  Not after giving a nod to offshore drilling, resulting in the disaster in the gulf.  Not after putting up 36B more for nuclear guarantees.  Well, there goes Japan.  

If he does something favorable for someone it goes to hell, and solar is all we have left."

Talk about bad timing!

I really feel bad about the plight of the Japanese.  I will be helping by sending money for relief.  I think this disaster will be long lasting and catastrophic for Japan's and the world's economy.

Monday, March 14, 2011


On March 2nd of this year the Martinez administration announced it had approved uranium exploration permits on private land in Cibola County.  Bad timing here, no question about it.

At the same time the Obama administration wants to triple loan guarantees for nuclear power.  It would commit almost $60 billion that taxpayers would be on the hook for if the industry defaults.  A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists  “(Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable Without Subsidies,”) found that more than 30 subsidies have supported every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to long-term waste storage. Added together, these subsidies often have exceeded the average market price of the power produced."  Might be time to rethink this offer.

It now appears that Japan's nuclear power plants are going off like popcorn with resulting economic uncertainty for that beleaguered country and the nuclear industry.  It is intriguing to me about how these things always seem to cluster and run into each other.  Now we can expect to see the fossil fuel boys say they are the only answer.

On Sunday the Albuquerque Journal ran another oped by some oil industry mascot saying they are the solution to everything.  The Journal also ran a half page paid ad by the oil and gas industry beating their drums on how great they are.  Same kind of ads are on TV.

What I am trying to say here is that none of these tired, dangerous or worn out industries is any sort of long range answer for energy production on this planet.  They will be around a while but Solar, Tidal and Wind may be the real solutions.  That is where all subsidies should go.  Just forget about the nuclear power plants though.  They could only work in a perfect world.....and well........

Saturday, March 12, 2011


The explosion of the building surrounding the nuclear reactor in Japan this morning will pretty much put a nail in the coffin of any planned renewed uranium mining in New Mexico.  Let us hope so.  Having said that I always had a slight feeling that these power plants could solve problems for us in our energy production.  Once again I am reminded that is foolish.

You can rebuild and rejuvenate after an earthquake and tsunami.  You just have to leave an area for hundreds of years if the nuclear fuel melts down.  It really is scary stuff.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Note to the Governor

Stop wasting your time on GOP wedge issues like immigrants and drivers licenses and get to work on job creation and public works programs.  For example, while New Mexico's unemployment rate grew last month, there was one shining example where jobs are being created.  And that is in the renewable energy sector.

If you have any real economists working for you that aren't former campaign workers have them look at the annual report from the Solar Energy Industries Association.  This report holds great promise for New Mexico.

The Solar Market grew 67% from 2009 to 2010.  New Mexico was a player.  Solar is the future and I would suggest you start a debate with the legislature that takes the millions of dollars in subsidies we give to the oil and gas industry and shift it to Solar Energy Development.  That would certainly make you look visionary and courageous.  After looking at this report from your oil and gas donors it would be one of the most heroic acts in our state's political history.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yesterday's News

So here is yesterday's news.

Newly minted catholic  convert Newt Gingrich says he cheated on his wife and left her while she had cancer because he loved America so much.

The Catholic Bishop in Philadelphia held a prayer service for victims of pedophile priests after belatedly removing 21 of them from parish duties.

The Wisconsin republican legislators banned collective bargaining for public employee and will soon require the last rites unless I am missing my guess. There may not be any priests available due to a current shortage.

Republican Congressman Peter King from New York is conducting hearings blaming Muslins for terrorism while having served in the past as a fund raiser for the Irish Republican Army, a terrorist group.

You just cant make this up!  All in one day.  It is almost to much to take in.  This kind of stuff just makes life fun to watch.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Hispanic Demographics

The Pew Hispanic Center is a wealth of information.  I wonder if anyone who is pushing the wedge issue of drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants have thought about looking at it.  Especially when one sees that foreign born latino immigrants account for 30 percent of all immigrants.  That is a sizable number.  But who are the other 70 percent and why are they not being singled out?  Well, they are Asians and Africans and Europeans.  But the push on this licensed legislation seems to be aimed at brown people from south of the border.  It is unsaid and not mentioned much.

I have to agree with Senator Eric Griego's comments this morning in the Journal that this issue is 'sucking the oxygen out of the legislature'.  It is meaningless and divisive and Governor Martinez and her republican campaign manager who is now on the state payroll deserve some criticism.  They need to learn how to unite and lead for everyone.  Thank heavens the New Mexico Senate in trying to bring some sanity to this issue.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


After reading the story on Heather Wilson this morning about her Senate candidacy I was reminded of Hillary Clinton's disastrous Iowa loss to Obama.  After he defeated her she held a news conference and on the stage with her was every old and recognizable face from democratic national VIPs.  I had the thought then that it was a cast of characters that offered nothing except the 'same old thing.'  In the end that is why she did not win.  Obama wasn't cast with that image.

Yesterday Heather Wilson was surrounded by the Methuselahs of the New Mexico republican party. Domenici, Lujan, Redmond and others escorted her at her announcement.  Hardly a way of saying convincingly that things will be different.  And of course she said we needed to get our fiscal house in order even though she was the 'Queen of Earmarks" during her house service.  Of course the press gave her a bye on that.

I am chuckling about the fight between Lin television and Dish Network.  I have Dish satellite on my roof and they are no longer carrying Channel 13 and Channel 2.  Their greediness on who pays who how much is hilarious and they will only suffer for it in the end.  Last night Bobbi went into the spare bedroom to watch House on Channel 2.  I will do the same for the next episode of Fringe.  But I wont make that effort to watch their newscasts which will surely suffer from a ratings drop.  None of them wins this fight.

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then  proceed to tell you why it isn't. 

Sunday, March 06, 2011


I am anticipating the reemergence of former Congresswoman Heather Wilson. Monday she will announce her candidacy for the US Senate unless I am totally wrong.  I am trying to anticipate the new Heather.  What will she be like after her post primary loss a few  years back to the extreme right wing of the republican party?  Will she become one of them?  She herself is guilty of supporting the bush/cheney team for 8 years, but that didn't see her turn into a looney tunes character like Congressman Steve Pearce.

In her last year in congress Wilson was the queen of earmarks. She sponsored or cosponsored over $85 million in earmarks.  She never met an earmark she didn't like according to one friend of mine. Now, if my guessing is right, she will come out as a extremist on the federal budget.  Will any member of the press call her on this?  Will the Journal send an inquisitive reporter to followup on this?  Maybe Thomas Cole could go?  Deep down he still is a real reporter.  Maybe the veteran reporter/editor John Robertson could take some time off the desk and go do what he did so well for so many years.  Real insightful political reporting.

Earmarks are actually okay with me most of the time.  In dollar terms they are large but in percentage of budget they are small.  But earmarks have been a rallying cry for ultra conservatives and we will see if Wilson joins the battle.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Bait and Switch

The Albuquerque's Journal's peculiar brand of Journalism where you have someone like Thomas Cole beat a subject to death while real news goes unreported continues aud nasuem.  He is still on the case of state airplanes not flying the Governor around.  It is easy work and requires nothing more than some keyboard action.

We decided this morning that the Governor has a fear of flying which is why she, as state chief executive, will waste her time in an SUV traipsing across the state.

Compare this kind of journalism with the New York Times reporting on dangerous side effects of drilling for natural gas.  That drilling has been rampant here in New Mexico for years and yet you see little enterprise on the part of the Journal in letting folks know about such dangers.  They will however report greatly on any regulations that the oil and gas industry does not like.

Of course the Governor loves this kind of journalism because it takes the heat off of her to tackle real issues.  If the press follows an easy story on the Governor not flying in a state plane, or not liking APS because of a large PR department, then the real problems go unnoticed.  Once again, this state is being run by Susana's political campaign managers instead of studied policy wonks.  This is all beginning to look like a replay of Sarah Palin's governorship where she stuck around for two years, did nothing and then ran for Vice President.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Sci Fi

I love Sci Fi books and movies.  My latest favorite authors are Robert Charles Wilson (Spin) and Michael Flynn (Eifelheim).  I am now also getting into Dan Simmons (Hyperion).

So I have been looking forward to seeing the movie version of Philp Dick's "The Adjustment Team."   It is a conspiracy theorist's dream movie which mostly is based on the premise that unknown forces are controlling our lives. Its kind of the way that undocumented workers must feel right now as they watch the New Mexico Legislature fart around with their futures as a way of gaining political points.  Driver's licenses of all things!  It is nauseating.

We need some sort of adjustment bureau to come in and adjust a few legislators.  Make them nicer.  Make them thoughtful.  Make them servants of the public.  Make them work on meaningful job creation.  It would take a real conspiracy to make that happen.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Proof in the Pudding

I blogged on Monday about how the oil and gas industry stated in the New York Times that it was up to the state's to regulate safe drilling.  And that they then would heavily fund against any efforts to do so.  Most of this issue involved water quality associated with fracking of rock formations in the mid west to get more gas out.

Fast Forward to New Mexico's Legislature where House Bill 297 would lessen regulations on overseeing old oil and gas wells and their danger to our water supplies.  This little gem is being sponsored by Representative Thomas Garcia of Ocate, NM.  (Who got him to do this?)

This bill was vetted by the New Mexico Conservation Voters and found to present a danger.  After many days of negotiations it was thought that a compromise was reached but when the substitute bill was presented it contained none of the compromises.  This bill was certainly written by the oil and gas industry.

I doubt this bill will finally pass the Senate if it gets that far.  But the point here is that the industry can't be trusted and thank heavens for the NM Conservation Voters.  They could use your donation to keep up this great work.  Donate Here!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Bought and Paid For

Western republican governors are a good investment for the coal, oil and gas industries.  After pouring millions of dollars into the campaign coffers of these characters the governors are now giving payback.  They are pushing hard against Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar's  executive order restoring balance to the protection of western public lands.  Of course these right wing republicans don't look at them as 'public' lands but as lands that the oil, gas and coal industries should have complete dominion over.  It is comical and tragic at the same time.

These antiquated and environmentally dangerous industries, who stand in the way of renewables, aren't happy with having access to millions of acres of Bureau of Land Management holdings.  They want it all even if they don't need it, so they can continue to hold sway over our national heritage lands.

In fact, while criticizing the Obama administration for holding back access, the oil and gas industry currently controls over 41 million acres of BLM onshore lands while only using 12 million acres.  And they scream for more!  In 2010 the BLM issued over 4,000 drilling permits but the oil and gas boys only used 1200!

So, any republican governor who screams about this is nothing more than a liar, lacking in ethics, and corrupt.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Where No Man Has Gone Before

I just have to tell this story after seeing that Governor Martinez has appointed a new leader to the Space Port that she loves to hate so much.  This new lady seems as if she is qualified so I would like her to convey this story to the Governor.

My friend Rodger Beimer took a week off in his newly found retirement routine to take a trip to Florida for the launch of the Discovery Space Shuttle.  I was going to join him but the launch was delayed from its earlier assigned date and I had to go to meetings in California.

Rodger knows me well and said I would have gone insane because of the mass of humanity and their cars. After the launch, which Rodger described in intricate and entertaining detail, he went to the parking lot to get in his car and travel the 50 miles to his hotel.  He started out at 5:30pm in the afternoon.  He got to his hotel just before midnight because of the 50 mile long traffic jam of thousands of people trying to do the same.  He is right.  I would have gone bonkers averaging 8 mph.

The point of this story is the amount of dollars pumped into Florida's economy by these space launches.  Rodger said he was standing near a pack of Germans that came in just to watch the spectacle.  Kind of like our balloon fiesta in Albuquerque.  I wonder if the Governor would approve of that public/private partnership that was conjured up back in the mid 70's during Harry Kinney's term as Mayor.  (Read about it here)

A lot of criticism was aimed at that effort too, but look how it has now been handed off to a private non profit which makes it work so well.  The same thing can happen with the Space Port effort and the Governor's new leader should work positively to see that it happens.  Don't go looking for mistakes and errors that have been made in this complex process but rather work to leave something to be proud of in the future.