Monday, April 27, 2015

Watchdog Needed

I applaud Senator Martin Heinrich's bill to place the federal government in the driver's seat for siting new power lines that will take advantage of  our growing renewable energy push in this country.  That oil, gas and coal loving mascot, republican land commissioner Aubrey Dunn, is slowing down the Sun Zia renewable project after he took office.  This could be a dagger in the heart of the only exciting economic play in New Mexico right now.  Dunn is joining Governor Susana Martinez in helping out their fossil fuel masters.  She has already vetoed a renewable energy tax credit that would continue to encourage solar installations in the sunniest state in the union.

We need a new watchdog group that will do nothing but dig into all policy and doings at the State Land Office.   Dunn could be doing a lot more harm than one thinks by quietly changing policies that harm the state.  Such changes would go pretty much unnoticed since journalists are on the rocks in New Mexico.

It will be interesting to see what the more welcoming Catholics in the state will do in researching the history of the newly appointed Archbishop for the Archdiocese.  The new man, the Rev. John Wester comes from Salt Lake City.  After the extremely conservative administration of Archbishop Sheehan, just about any change might be good.  Wester might have learned something from the pragmatic Mormons in that state who have changed policies on Gays in that religion. This is a good article on the issue.


Bubba Muntzer said...

Sen Heinrich can also be applauded for coming out against "fast track" status for the TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership, trade deal, one reason being it's being negotiated in secret. As he says,

“Unfortunately, before I ever see the details of TPP, and before the American public gets to see the details of the deal, I am being asked to give away any chance I would have as a U.S. Senator to change it, make it better, or fix what could be fatal flaws,” Heinrich said.

The TPP, and another like it being negotiated with Europe, are bad deals for workers and American workers, and for the environment, and I hope the senator's concerns extend to specific provisions of these "NAFTA on steroids" type free trade agreements. Maybe that's what he's referring to as "fatal flaws." We'll see.

But even going so far as to defy the president, and Wall Street, and most mainstream Democrats, by opposing fast track demonstrates, once again, that the senator, as they say, has a pair.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the auction of two large solar leases in Otero and Dona Ana counties? Did they ever happen? Did Dunn squeeze them for more money?