ProgressNow New Mexico has been working for the last few months to unravel the complicated ties that the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) has with numerous outside entities working to control the narrative around extraction in the state. We’ve found heaps of evidence to support our claims that NMOGA has evolved from just another industry advocate to fully trying to change the culture of New Mexico. We think it’s important you understand why this matters so here’s our quick rundown on everything you need to know. In 2017, NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn gave a speech to members where he announced his intention to make NMOGA “the most powerful organization in the state of New Mexico.” Throughout the 2018 Legislative Session, we saw record amounts of spending from NMOGA to influence policy in that, the last year of Governor Susana Martinez’s last year in office.
Happy Monday New Mexico. Do you have your Halloween costume picked out yet? Seems like the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association does. They are dressing up as right wing attack dogs Power the Future this year.
As you know, NMOGA is working directly with Power the Future, a Koch-funded lobby group that seems to spend the majority of its (vast) resources attacking clean energy policy around the country. New Mexico has become ground zero for PTF, going so far as to hire former Martinez-era talking head Larry Beherns to be their point person on the ground here.
The 2019 legislative session brought us the passage of HB 100- Replace Columbus Day As Indigenous People’s Day, sponsored by Representative Derrick Lente (Sandia Pueblo). Here are some really easy ways to celebrate without being a jerk about not celebrating a rapist and murderer. Buy from inspired Natives (NOT “Native-inspired”!). There are Indigenous artists and business owners from all across Turtle Island that you can support and NOT be an appropriative ass. Check out: Milo Creations by Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo); Bethany Yellowtail (Northern Cheyenne/Crow); NTVS: The Originals by Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa-Choctaw);OXDX by Jarred Yazzie (Diné)Dale Ray Deforest- Dale Deforest Illustrations (Diné) (he created IWR’s logo and is creating some graphic novels I am really excited about!) Lisa Teparghuq Apangaluk (Siberian Yupik/Tlingit)- Mother & Child (@ken_yew_knot on Instagram!)
Steven Paul JuddOXDXBethany YellowtailMilo Creations
Read history by Indigenous authors (oh, Creator, please go read)!
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a lifeline for millions of Americans while lowering costs and improving the quality of care. It has strengthened Medicare and Medicaid by expanding access while also containing costs and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse of public programs.
Despite the vast benefits it provides for millions of Americans, the ACA has become political fodder for its opponents. President Trump and his administration have consistently sought to undermine and repeal the ACA. Overturning the law would disrupt coverage for 15 million people, including 90,000 New Mexicans, who receive health insurance through an ACA exchange and 15 million more who were covered by the expansion of Medicaid. Medicare recipients would face steep increases in drug prices, disrupted access to free birth control, mammograms, and cholesterol tests, and children would potentially be prohibited from staying on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
Sometimes, finding all the voting information you need in one place is hard! Look no further, friends! ProgressNow NM is here for you every step of the way- from early voting and same-day registration to Election Day and voting locations. See below for a one-and-done guide to getting your vote on! Important Dates (Statewide)
October 8- Absentee Ballots MailedOctober 8- November 2- Statewide in-person registration and early voting at County Clerk’s Offices, 8am-5pm.October 19-November 2- Statewide expanded early voting.
It also appears that NMOGA is working with top-tier far-right digital consulting firm Harris Media
ProgressNow New Mexico has come into possession of a PowerPoint presentation from 2018 that was prepared by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association and seemingly presented by their Communications Director Robert McEntyre.
It contains slides with then forthcoming plans to expand their digital and traditional media reach into New Mexico, but more significantly, it confirms that NMOGA planned and has continued to collaborate directly with out-of-state lobbying group, Power the Future.
You can see the whole slideshow here:
You can clearly see on slide six, the final bullet point: “Coordinate allied groups and align strategies and messaging.”
Given the layout of the presentation, it then appears that none other than Power the Future founder Daniel Turner himself was present to give some portion of the presentation, as his name card and that of his organization are similarly presented on slides 32 and 33. For the record, we know Turner was in NM during the summer of 2018. He tweeted a video of himself with a billboard Power the Future apparently bought in Sandoval County.
Here in beautiful New Mexico to support energy workers! Don’t let radical environmentalists take away your jobs. @powerthefuture #EnergyDominance #EnergyWorkers More to come, Sandoval County!! https://t.co/yF102QFP8l
Turner is based in Washington DC and started Power the Future sometime at the end of 2017, beginning of 2018. According to articles about him, he comes from working directly with Koch Industries and before that the Bush administration (Bush 2). Turner is obviously vehemently a climate science denier, but also a pro-Trump nationalist who echoes a lot of jingoist mantras on Twitter.
If you follow environmental news in New Mexico, chances are you’ve seen some of the great media coverage of what’s happening around wildlife corridors in the state. But what exactly is all the fuss? We’re going to give you a quick overview of the issue so that you can help get involved no matter what part of the state you live in: Wildlife matters to us all!
Simply speaking, animals don’t recognize things like state boundaries, county lines, or different land designations from federal, state, and local jurisdictions; they just go where they need to for survival. Some people might be familiar with pictures of natural-looking overpasses for wildlife to cross over highways but wildlife corridors really represent large landscapes used for a variety of issues; migration, mating, foraging, etc. And it’s not just large mammals like deer or elk but almost every animal in some way utilizes the landscape, especially as more and more development encroaches on natural habitats.
Some elected officials hold town halls to listen to constituents. Some send out surveys and others hold gatherings at parks or churches.
In New Mexico, however, some elected officials and community leaders choose to get their marching orders from corporations with extreme Right Wing agendas.
Enter ALEC: The American Legislative Exchange Council. If you haven’t heard of this group before, you may have seen some of their policies either at the Roundhouse here in New Mexico or at the national level. They’re a Washington-D.C.-based, corporate-sponsored “think tank” that basically believes our society should be run like Gilead- see Handmaid’s Tale for reference, or, click here for a list of their bills. (Spoiler alert: abortion bans, “Right-to-Work” laws, privatization of public schools, voter suppression, climate change denial, etc.)
A couple of weeks ago, ALEC held their conference in Austin, Texas.
Progress Now New Mexico today called for the investigation, by appropriate State officials including the Attorney General, Secretary of State and the State Ethics Commission, of various activities of Public Regulation Commissioner Valerie Espinoza. Those activities came to light after an examination by ProgressNow NM and others of responses to public records requests and other information provided to Progress Now. The activities, if verified, range from inappropriate to criminal, and would include violations of both statutes and regulations.
PRC Commissioner Valerie Espinoza
“The information resulting from our IPRA request is deeply disappointing,” said Stephanie Maez, Executive Director for ProgressNow New Mexico. “It is our hope that by shedding light on this we can ensure that the Commissioner’s behavior is thoroughly investigated and future questionable activities by the Commissioner cease all together.”
A little over three and a half years ago, freelancer Sascha Guinn Anderson and her family moved to New Mexico from the state of New York. Her family’s decision to move here was not based on a business or tax incentive, but rather, was based on the promise of a public, Pre-Kindergarten early learning program (PreK) for their children. “In New York, basically you buy your way into PreK,” said Anderson. She explained the inequitable and lengthy process of securing a spot: Beginning at age two, families often pay for their children to enter expensive, private, early childhood programs in order to later be grandfathered into neighboring, public, PreK programs for three and four-year-olds. Anderson recalls mounting pressure to register her two-year-old in an expensive, early learning program.