When oil and gas companies go unregulated, people die and families are dislocated

A month ago ProgressNow New Mexico published a blog about SB 186, a bill that would equip the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) with actual enforcement and punitive powers to enforce state regulations on oil and gas operators in the state. In that piece we highlighted how over the last decade the oil and gas industry has caused literally THOUSANDS of infractions but because of a legal loophole, OCD has not been able to fine those companies, leaving those companies with little motivation to adhere to the law. This isn’t just an academic issue. This is a real problem with real consequences for New Mexicans.  Today we want to look at some specific examples of where major failings have happened around the state that affected New Mexicans’ lives and where, if OCD were able to hold these companies accountable, disasters like this could be avoided.

It’s a NEW DAY in New Mexico!

With a new Governor and a host of bold, progressive, new State House representatives, one of the biggest wins this session could be in clean energy. We have a generational opportunity to reduce carbon in New Mexico, through the double-sided coin of increasing our state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS), the leading climate priority for Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham; and retiring the San Juan Generating Station in San Juan County, a source of coal-based carbon emissions for decades. We now have that chance. The Energy Transition Act (ETA, SB 489) was filed today, sponsored by Senator Jacob Candelaria and Representative Nathan Small. Here are the top 5 things the ETA does:

It creates an even stronger new Renewable Portfolio Standard than last week’s bill, because of some pretty tough negotiating by the Governor over the weekend, setting New Mexico on a course for clean energy for literally decades to come.

Raising the royalty cap for our oil and gas is REALLY important for New Mexico

With less than a week to go until the 2019 Legislative session there’s already been a lot of exciting movement from New Mexico’s new (mostly) progressive majority at the state level. Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard made a big splash today with an Executive Order banning wildlife killing contests on state lands. That’s pretty great news! But Garcia Richard made
another announcement this week that we’re excited about as well: A
planned bill to increase the cap on royalties paid from oil and gas companies
from wells on state lands from 20 percent to 25 percent. What does that mean?

It’s time for a change in New Mexico’s House District 41

Debbie Rodella has been the representative for House District 41 since 1993. After all that time, she’s barely faced any opposition from members of her own party, last facing a primary challenge in 2006. But after a series of votes over the last few years, it has become clear to many that it’s time for a change in the district. Rodella has taken nearly $20,000 from the payday lending industry in the last decade and made sure that at least three times bills designed to protect New Mexicans died in the committee she chairs. As a whole, that industry has spent almost A MILLION DOLLARS in the last few years to oppose common-sense consumer protections. Such protections would ensure that predatory practices from these high-interest lenders would at least have some checks and balances, as well as legal protections for consumers.

[TAKE ACTION] Rep. Carl Trujillo needs to resign

We believe Laura Bonar. It is deeply courageous for a woman to speak publicly about being sexually harassed or assaulted. 
ProgressNow New Mexico is standing with Laura as we have stood with other women in the last year speaking out against their harassers. We are joining her and others in calling for Rep. Carl Trujillo’s resignation. 
Laura wants what all women want – for women to be safe in their workplace and for elected leaders to be ethical and to be held accountable. Instead, Trujillo responded the same way others have responded – as if he is the victim. We’ve seen this response before–the cowardice in Representative  Trujillo’s response.

#1 – Top 5 Martinez blunders as we begin another legislative session

This is it, the final, #1 example of how the Governor has been derelict in her duties and failed all New Mexicans as a leader and human being. The Governor’s attack on stream access is atrocious because it is one of the most direct examples of pay for play in recent memory, and she took away a right of all New Mexicans, and most didn’t even realize it.