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PNS Daily Newscast - July 19, 2018 


Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

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NM Conservation Groups Work to Get Out Vote

Sierra Club volunteers Tom Gorman and Michael Melendrez canvas the neighborhood encouraging residents to vote. (Susan Martin/Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter)
Sierra Club volunteers Tom Gorman and Michael Melendrez canvas the neighborhood encouraging residents to vote. (Susan Martin/Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter)
November 4, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – With only four days left before the election, conservation groups are fanning out across the state, going door to door, promoting clean water and climate issues and encouraging New Mexicans to make their voice heard on Tuesday. The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter has dozens of volunteers walking the precincts in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Ruidoso and in Valencia County.

Political chair for the Sierra Club's Rio Grande Chapter Susan Martin, said voter turnout is going to be key in a lot of swing districts.

"Our main goal is to take the House back, to make it a more environmentally responsible New Mexico House of Representatives, because right now we have one that really just is a rubber stamp for (Gov.) Susana Martinez, and she's no friend of the environment," Martin explained.

The Sierra Club is part of a movement called the Democracy Initiative that supports candidates for secretary of state who pledge to make voting easier and more convenient and oppose efforts to restrict it.

Martin's group also is interested in fighting climate change, since 2015 was the hottest year on record worldwide. So she'd like the state to raise renewable-energy requirements and thus create more jobs in that industry. She'd also like the Public Regulation Commission to encourage PNM to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

"We need to elect state senators and representatives who will emphasize that the state Environment Department is there to actually protect and defend our environment and not to coddle polluting criminals, is the way we look at it," she said.

Martin said the state also needs to be more aggressive in fighting water contamination and air pollution at mining, oil and gas facilities.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NM