On October 25, the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners resolved to support the Bureau of Land Management’s rule to charge royalties on wasted methane—the primary component of natural gas—on federal and tribal lands. The resolution addresses the serious problem of methane waste, which is impacting state revenues, harming the environment and threatening the health of New Mexicans.Read More
There’s no doubt that the oil and gas sector is an essential source of jobs and revenue to the state of New Mexico. It is a critical part of our economy. At the same time, New Mexico can’t afford to tie its fiscal health, and the welfare of our schools, colleges, and universities to the boom-and-bust cycles of fossil fuel markets.Read More
Last week, I attended a very informative event in Albuquerque organized by the Moms Clean Air Force. The public discussion addressed the impacts of oil and gas development on New Mexico communities. As many people know by now, the largest methane “hotspot” hovers over northern New Mexico, and oil and gas development in New Mexico is affecting communities water, air and access to public lands.Read More
In case you missed it last week, I joined a Google Hangout panel of Latino experts on conservation issues to highlight our community’s dedication to making sure elected officials and regulators hear our concerns. In fact recent polls released by Latino Decisions and NCLR in states that are receiving plenty of attention ahead of November’s high-stakes elections showed that Latinos vote in states like Colorado (48%) and North Carolina (43%) mainly because they want to make their voices heard.Read More
HECHO is in Washington, DC today providing commentary on oil and natural gas venting and flaring. We believe that it is possible to have oil and gas development, as well as protect the familiar trails and favorite fishing holes that Latinos in the West hold dear. Do we want our precious landscapes to look like the Bakken in North Dakota? Development has to be done smart and managed in a balanced way. As we’ve seen more and more oil and gas wells near our favorite outdoor sites, those of us who spend countless hours outside can see the changes, in particular in the air with more haze and smog than ever. It’s encouraging to see the BLM taking the first step toward ensuring that my generation and our children, and our children’s children can experience the lands and heritage that make us who we are.Read More
Despite NPS’s commitment to protecting night skies, threats remain. At Chaco Culture, for example, light pollution emanating from expanding urban areas including Albuquerque and Farmington, New Mexico, and the growing demand for oil and gas development in the northwestern corner of the state have the potential to impact the quality of the night skies at the park. Natural gas flaring and an increase in intensive artificial lighting from construction activities, vehicle traffic, and support facilities can all create light pollution at the park’s higher elevations and inside the canyon.Read More
It was encouraging to see Colorado's La Voz raise the issue of oil and gas development as one that affects Latinos, in a recent commentary by James Mejia. As we move closer to the midterm elections, the dialog on national issues has engaged Latinos in a new way.
So, why now?
Latinos collectively now have a permanent and more powerful voice across the political landscape on issues ranging from education to the health care. With energy development booming in the West, the landscape itself has become political.Read More
Today, the Interior Department revealed a strategy that takes a smarter, proactive approach to energy development. A road map for Interior Secretary Jewell’s first Secretarial Order and first major action on conservation, the mitigation strategy will lead to better protection for fish, wildlife, water, farming and ranching, and landscapes across the West.Read More
New oil boom coming to San Juan Basin - The Santa Fe New Mexican Last week, the Santa Fe New Mexican (link above) described the scale of oil and gas development planned for the San Juan Basin. Truly nothing short of a boom, it will effect the public lands we enjoy, the scenery we love, the night skies we adore, and the health of the rivers and streams we fish. Let's seek a balanced approach that minimizes the impacts, and provide our input.Read More
The Arches and Canyonlands of Utah evoke thoughts of remoteness and mystery, fantastical vistas, wild geological formations, and voices echoing impossible distances. For many of us who live out west, these places represent the heart of what it means to find solitude and be in touch with the land, in love with the landscape, tiny in comparison to creation, and more grand in spirit than one could ever imagine. These places open the soul.
Now imagine if oil and gas rigs marred the stunning vistas, and a spaghetti of access roads scarred the solitude. Instead of hearing ravens and wind, you could hear the clank and clamor of the extractive industry. Imagine mountain biking or hiking on trails criss-crossed by truck traffic and heavy machinery, or fishing a polluted river.Read More