PNS Daily Newscast - February 26, 2020 

Seven Democrats debate in South Carolina. And helping kelp forests off the West coast.

2020Talks - February 25, 2020 

Tonight's the last debate before the South Carolina primaries, but it's also the last before Super Tuesday, which includes California and its 494 delegates.

Looking Ahead to NM Lawmakers "First Day of School" in DC

December 15, 2008

Santa Fe - New Mexico's new class of Washington lawmakers have big shoes to fill, and now the oil gas industry is growing worried these "green" freshmen will be a bit too green.

Following the retirement of Senator Domenici and an election shake-up, four out of the five members of New Mexico's Congressional delegation who head to Washington next month will be freshmen. The new delegation will have 52 years less experience, and many Capitol Hill watchers say that means a crippling loss of political power for the state.

But, Jonathan Kaplan with the New Mexico Independent, who has written about the changing of the guard, says this change has lobbyists for a few of New Mexico's big industries worried.

"The oil and gas industry will get short shrift because the Democrats are going to focus on renewable fuels, alternative energy."

Kaplan says even with the loss of seniority, New Mexico Democrats will now have a much bigger say in Washington with their party more firmly in control.

"They have had the majority the past two years, but they've not had control. You can see that with the defeat of the bailout bill for the auto industry."

While the state's rookie representatives will have less clout, the House leadership is expected to give them a lot of support. Kaplan believes much of the responsibility for looking out for New Mexico interests will now fall on the shoulders of Senator Jeff Bingaman, who chairs the powerful Senate Energy Committee. Bingaman recently held a hearing to review investments in alternative and traditional energy projects that could be included in a new economic stimulus package.

Kaplan's story is online at

Eric Mack/Elizabeth Grattan, Public News Service - NM