Heinrich votes against giving Rick Perry nuclear weapons

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing Rick Perry’s past calls to eliminate the Energy Department, and “an unwillingness to commit to the applied energy research and climate science done at our national labs and universities, and the transition team questionnaire that attacked the integrity of climate scientists,” US Senator Martin Heinrich voted NO today on the confirmation of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to lead Donald Trump’s Energy Department. The New York Times recently reported that Perry accepted Trump’s offer to be Energy Secretary believing it was a post to serve as a “global ambassador for America’s oil and gas companies.”  Only after accepting did he learn that it was not that job at all. The Energy Department enjoys a special relationship with New Mexico. National labs, including Sandia and Los Alamos, as well as our country’s nuclear stockpile housed, in part, at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque are all under the purview of the Energy Secretary.

State, local leaders issue public letter to US Senate opposing Trump’s Pruitt for EPA

More than 50 state and local elected officials signed an open letter to New Mexico’s US Senators and Congressional delegation urging them to publicly oppose President Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Scroll down to join these leaders in opposing Pruitt for EPA administrator. As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA at least 14 times to oppose clean air and water rules.  Mr. Pruitt also allowed Republican donors and oil industry executives to write his office’s climate change policies and official policy statement letters opposing climate change and EPA rules. The full Senate is expected to take up his nomination in the coming weeks.

REGISTER: Telephone Town Hall with Sen. Tom Udall on Monday

President Trump (I still can’t get used to writing that!) has nominated a lot of troubling cabinet nominees, but none is more worrisome than Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Senate offices have been bombarded with calls and letters asking how we can help. Instead of asking you to call Sen. Udall, we asked him if he’d call you – and he said yes! Special invitation: Telephone Town Hall with Senator Tom Udall

President Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency stands out among a long list of troubling nominees he has offered. I’ve heard from countless New Mexicans with concerns about Pruitt’s appointment as EPA administrator, so I’m hosting a telephone town hall on Monday to discuss how New Mexicans who care about our clean air and water can help.

Pledge to stand with Sens. Udall, Heinrich against these Trump’s nominees

Donald Trump’s nominees are a who’s who of conflicts, billionaires and bigots and each one must be confirmed by the United States Senate.

Democrats have already given many a grilling and slowed the quick nomination processes Trump and Republican Senate leaders wanted. Our own US Senators have been front and center of those fights. Here are just a few whose appointment could mean big trouble for New Mexico.

Watch: Udall, Heinrich grill Trump appointees on climate change, torture, surveillance & Russia

Both of New Mexico’s United States Senators are in a front-and-center role in the work to vet President-elect Trump’s nominees to head our country’s federal agencies. Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Tom Udall pressed the former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson about his position on climate change and whether he will continue his relationship with ExxonMobil if he is confirmed as the nation’s top diplomat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CidK1jgfr00&feature=youtu.be

In the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) questioned President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense Retired General James Mattis. Heinrich asked Mattis about the key threats to the security of the United States. Mattis replied, “I would consider the principle threats to start with Russia.”

Latest Artists’ Town Hall event shows importance of planning, connecting, acting

– Nancy Zastudil
 

That’s how Nancy Zastudil, owner of the contemporary art gallery Central Features in downtown ABQ, summed up the Artists’ Town Hall #2 earlier this week. Artists’ Town Hall #2 took place at Tricklock Company’s TLab on December 12th with about one-hundred people gathered about the stage, in the seats, and around the room as representatives from local organizing movements presented their work and discussed how artists and activists can keep fighting for social justice in the months and years ahead. Poet Laureate Emeritus, Jessica Helen Lopez, spoke about creating and organizing from a Chicana Feminist Poet’s standpoint. Lopez displayed her poetic prowess after expressing her passion for women’s rights, issues, and access. She is one of many organizing Albuquerque’s version of the Women’s March on Washington next month.

Four things that make Trump’s new Interior Secretary bad for public lands and New Mexico

After weeks of speculation over which pro-fossil fuel leader Trump would place in charge of our national parks, public lands and oil/gas/coal resources, the President-elect today named Montana’s Congressman Ryan Zinke his Secretary-designate of the US Dept. of Interior. Who is he and what does that mean for our country and New Mexico?  Here’s a quick primer:

Zinke’s homestate newspaper, The Billings Gazette, has said that Congressman Zinke’s efforts are clearly intended to “rob Montanans (and all citizens) of money that’s rightfully theirs.”

After first campaigning on support for President Obama’s climate action plans, he suddenly became a science denier. Not coincidentally, he took in almost $350,000 in campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry since his overnight change.

Trump considers New Mexico’s Heather Wilson for top of national intelligence spot

Just when you thought you’d seen the last of Heather Wilson, she was expected to show up at Trump Tower today to talk to Team Trump about leading our nation’s sprawling intelligence apparatus. NM Political Report: Heather Wilson in contact with Trump team over possible administration position

ProgressNow NM readers will remember Wilson for her connection to a “register a dog to vote” stunt ProgressNow uncovered in 2012.  During her unsuccessful run for US Senate, the husband of a Wilson campaign staffer registered their family dog to vote, as a Democrat, to prove that voter fraud could occur.  It proved that he could be prosecuted for it after ProgressNow outed the owners’ connections to Wilson’s campaign. Read more: Wilson’s staff linked to attempted voter fraud scandal

Wilson is a Republican with a long history in New Mexico politics.