As Farmington goes, so goes New Mexico: A look at the changing landscape of our state

This is the first in a series focusing on the long-term economic and social issues facing Farmington New Mexico and surrounding areas. As a region that has rich and diverse opportunities but generally relies on extractive industries economically, the whole area is facing uncertainty as the coal-burning San Juan Coal Generating Station closes its doors and oil jobs are moving to the southeast part of the state to capitalize on the Permian boom happening right now. Farmington has always been a crossroads of sorts, situated uniquely at the confluence of three rivers and in modern times, highways and railroads. But as we move into the third decade of the twenty-first century, Farmington and other cities in the tri-county area of northwest New Mexico will be facing major changes as coal is phased out. No matter what the Trump administration says, or any campaign stumps from politicians like Steve Pearce promise, coal has seen its heyday and it’s never going to be a reliable commodity to build an industry on again.

So that Russian spy that was just arrested? Turns out she lived with a guy that Steve Pearce may know

For now, we know that Pearce likely knows Erickson, the man who lived with and connected a young Russian woman accused of using her influence to further financial and political sway between pro-gun Russian and US organizations and activists. What role Erickson has ever played for Pearce directly is unknown, but given the congressman’s deep pockets and generous donations from the NRA over the last decade, it’s certainly worth considering.

Rep. Steve Pearce is STILL pushing to make drilling EASIER for Big Oil, and Gov. Martinez has his back

With the humanitarian crises on the border dominating headlines the past few weeks and this week’s massive Supreme Court news, it’s easy to forget there are still other matters being decided in the halls of Congress that affect Americans everyday lives. Congressman Steve Pearce is pushing through two bills RIGHT NOW that would do away with important management and oversight of the Bureau of Land Management when it comes to issuing permits for drilling oil wells on public lands. 

Pearce, himself a millionaire oilman, of course, claims this is about “cutting red tape” but considering he’s running for governor this year it sure seems like he’s trying to do his buddies in the Permian Basin a huge favor while he’s still on Capitol Hill. But even as governor Pearce could still make it easier for oil and gas companies at the expense of our public lands, our environment, and even if practical policies that would actually net oil and gas companies more revenue like fixing the Methane Rule. 

Just look at Governor Susana Martinez’ role with oil and gas over the last eight years. And in the midst of everything that is happening, Martinez not only wrote a letter earlier in the year that encouraged the feds to support the undoing of the permitting process but actually traveled to Washington DC earlier this month and testified IN SUPPORT of Pearce’s bills. 

Well, we’re not going to let Pearce’s or Martinez’ attempts to undermine our public lands and our natural resources without saying something. That’s why we’ve launched these digital ads to help spread awareness of what’s happening.

2018 Elections: New Mexico’s new Governor will be front in center in rebuilding the state

ProgressNow New Mexico will be looking at some top-level races more in-depth over the next few weeks to bring our perspective to the key races we’re expecting to see in New Mexico this year. New Mexico is in the national spotlight as one of the “most likely to flip” states in terms of our governor’s race. Our series will focus on the offices that New Mexicans can vote for statewide. This is the second piece in our series. Susana Martinez came to power in 2010, at the height of the Great Recession and with a host of ideas about how she’d turn the state around by addressing jobs and crime using the reputation she’d garnered as a tough District Attorney to rouse New Mexicans on both sides of the aisle.

[TAKE ACTION] Smarter gun policy needs to be forefront up and down the ballot across the state in 2018

Primary elections in New Mexico take place in June, and the general election isn’t until November but knowing where candidates stand on the issue of smarter gun laws is something we should all be paying attention to now. With the momentum from the brave students in Florida who survived last weeks massacre who are demanding something be done about the lax gun laws in this country, current elected leaders and candidates should be seeing this as cornerstone issue for 2018. And, this past 30-day session the issue of smarter gun laws hardly made a blip. As the Santa Fe New Mexican put it:

Debate over gun control may be raging in many parts of the country, but little of it has been heard at New Mexico’s Capitol. The issue barely registered during the legislative session that began a month after a gunman killed two students at a school in Aztec and ended the same week a shooter in Florida killed 17 people at a high school.

[BREAKING] Pearce wrong on methane (again), endorses Trump plan to allow more taxpayer waste

Today, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke proposed gutting the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Methane Waste Prevention rule, which was designed to limit the wasteful venting and flaring of methane from oil and gas operations on public lands. And Congressman Steve Pearce was right there to applaud this giant step backward. 
In supporting efforts to rollback needed methane waste standards, Pearce is completely ignoring the fact that methane venting and flaring costs New Mexicans MILLIONS in lost revenue every year. New Mexico wastes more natural gas (primarily made up of methane) from it’s federal and tribal lands than any other state – $100 million worth of natural gas annually that should be generating millions more in royalty revenue for New Mexico schools. Pearce has a long history of supporting the extraction industry over the actual wishes of his own constituents. Whether it’s voting against the methane rule or opposing preserving public lands, Pearce has sided with extraction related industries at every turn. 
Secretary Zinke’s proposal would severely weaken efforts to curb waste on public lands, leading to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer-owned energy every year.

A gift Donald Trump will hate

Before we end 2017, please consider one last thing for your 2018 to-do list: making a year-end gift to help us start 2018 off right! Six years ago, Susana Martinez had just finished her first year in office promising that big corporate tax cuts would create New Mexico jobs.  That wasn’t true and we knew it, but Democrats and Republicans alike bought in. ALEC was adding new members in New Mexico and the Koch brothers were testing out new state-based strategies to attack unions and lower wages. We started ProgressNow’s network in New Mexico because we were tired of waiting for someone else to take on the fight. Today, that network is one of the state’s biggest and most vocal unapologetically progressive organizations, and the undisputed go-to source of progressive news for the state. With Trump in the White House and the possibility of Steve Pearce ending up in Roundhouse, New Mexico has never needed progressive leaders and actions more.

One day after making it easier for people to cross state lines with guns, Pearce offers more “prayers” for gun violence victims

Once again New Mexicans are hurting in the wake of a terrifying school shooting in Aztec earlier today. And while there are some who will undoubtedly say it’s “too early to politize this issue,” the fact of the matter is that when politicians make statements that are out of line with their values it must be addressed. Predictably, Republican Congressman (and gubernatorial candidate) Steve Pearce took to Twitter to express that he was “praying” for those affected by today’s shooting. Praying for everyone in #Aztec especially our students, their loved ones & our first responders. https://t.co/vm7Pp6jr6J
— Steve Pearce (@Pearce4NM) December 7, 2017

If that looks painfully familiar it’s because you’ve seen it before:

Please pray for our neighbors in Texas.