This one hits particularly close to home, as our state’s young people are the root of the positive changes we should expect and hope for in the state we love. In September of last year, while legislators again tried to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards to improve educational outcomes for students across the state, the Governor released her own version of the standards, ignoring common sense, national education best practices, and the will of educators and parents in every corner of New Mexico.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the New Mexico Education Department rolled out new proposed teaching standards, last week. Among said standards was a set for Science proposed nationally in 2013, by 26 other states. These standards are known as the “Next Generation of Science” standards.
Fast forward to last week, and Governor Martinez and her administration are choosing to edit, and then implement these proposed standards in New Mexico public schools. The edits suggested from the Martinez administration are poised to remove references to climate change and evolution along with forgetting about the age of this round ball we live on called Earth.
On June 1st, President Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. This decision threatens our security, our public health and welfare, our economic prosperity, and our clean energy industry, which supports millions of U.S. jobs. It threatens the air we breathe and the water we drink. It threatens our ecosystems and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people on our planet. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement does not represent the will of the American people.
Steve Pearce has said some crazy things in his term as New Mexico’s hardline conservative member of Congress, but today’s announcement may be his craziest yet. Pearce told the Associated Press today that he’d back Donald Trump for president if Trump can win the nomination. Don’t believe us? Read the story here. That announcement got us to thinking: is there really any difference between Trump and Pierce?
[UPDATE: The Democratic Governor’s Association released a statement about Gov. Martinez’s endorsement of Marco Rubio. Martinez is the Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association. Read the statement at the bottom of this post.]
Governor Susana Martinez is supporting second-tier Republican candidate Marco Rubio for the presidential nomination. “I wholeheartedly trust Marco to keep us safe and ensure a better tomorrow,” said Martinez about the junior senator from Florida. Yesterday news circulated on Martinez’s refusal to say anything one way or the other on Republican front runner Donald Trump when asked who she was going to endorse for the nomination.
We here at ProgressNow NM (and our affiliates around the country) have been on the forefront of the battle with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative corporate lobbying group. We’ve outed previously-unknown ALEC members within the state legislature, revealed ALEC policies conservative New Mexico politicians were trying to pass off as their own, and shed light on the way this shady group operates within our state. CLICK HERE to catch up on our ALEC Watch programs
There were large-scale corporate and individual defections from ALEC a few years ago after a sustained campaign from a number of progressive groups across the country began telling the truth about ALEC’s harmful agendas (“Stand Your Ground” laws that allowed George Zimmerman in Florida to go free; a sustained focus on privatizing pretty much everything; “Right to Work” laws; etc. etc.). But you may have missed that earlier this week Common Cause — the non-partisan good government group — became the latest potential victim of ALEC’s big money machine.
New Mexico’s natural gas producers have just created the country’s largest greenhouse gas disaster in the United States. You can’t smell it or see it from the ground, but NASA scientists just announced that “leaks” from natural gas producers in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin have created a 2,500 square-mile cloud of methane hovering over the Four Corners. Damn. From NASA:
In each of the seven years studied from 2003-2009, the area released about 0.59 million metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. This is almost 3.5 times the estimate for the same area in the European Union’s widely used Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research.
Gas flaring is the nasty little process where natural gas processing plants (or other oil and gas production sites) burn off flammable gas into the atmosphere. It’s a common practice but it’s extremely wasteful and also harmful to the environment.
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) participated in an all-night session — last night and into early this morning — with his colleagues from the Senate Climate Action Task Force to raise awareness about climate change and urge Congress to act on this critical issue. Senator Udall noted that New Mexico and the Southwest are “at the bull’s-eye when it comes to climate change” but also pointed to the fact that New Mexico is already focusing on solutions and is poised to be a major player in renewable energy development.
State Climate Change Forum Cancelled for Severe Weather; Legislators encouraged to experience climate change in person in lieu of attending
Santa Fe – The New Mexico state legislature just announced that it’s first-ever Forum on Climate Change and Its Effects has been cancelled – due to severe weather. The New Mexico House Energy and Natural Resources Committee was scheduled to hold a forum on “Climate Change & Its Effects on New Mexico” Wednesday morning at the legislature in Santa Fe. However, a press release from the Speaker’s Office just announced that the event has been cancelled, disappointing many who were anxious to attend the first ever event held at the legislature. Climatologists and experts were all scheduled to attend. New Mexico is experiencing an “arctic blast” (the Arctic Circle is 3,000 miles North of Santa Fe) of what the National Weather Service describes as “unseasonably cold temperatures.” More than two inches of snow fell on Santa Fe since last night with another 2-4 inches predicted through Thursday. No word on whether committee members are encouraged to go outside and experience climate change in person in lieu of attending the committee, though we think that’s a pretty good idea.