Sunday, October 24, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Environmentalists, Oil Producers Eye NM Land Commissioner Race

Play

Wednesday, October 31, 2018   

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The surge of oil and gas drilling in New Mexico in the past 18 months also has led to a surge of influence spending in the race for the next Commissioner of Public Lands.

Democrat Stephanie Garcia Richard, Republican Pat Lyons and Libertarian Michael Lucero all want the job, but Chevron Corp. has poured $2 million into the race to support Lyons, primarily through television ads.

Lilliana Castillo, communications director for Conservation Voters New Mexico, said the state deserves a commissioner who will hold oil and gas companies accountable and protect New Mexico's air, land and water.

"In New Mexico, in particular, we have more acres of state trust land than any other state in the country," she said, "so that makes the commissioner of public lands the most powerful land manager in the West."

A Lyons spokesperson said they had no control over who contributes money to his campaign.

Castillo noted that the commissioner also has the power to regulate methane emissions, in a state where the Four Corners methane cloud is as large as Delaware. The State Land Office oversees 9 million surface acres and 13 million subsurface acres that are leased for oil and gas production.

Production levels have soared this year, due in part to regulation cutbacks by the Trump administration. New Mexico's hospitals, infrastructure, higher education and public schools are the primary recipients of state trust land revenues.

Castillo said she thinks outside interests shouldn't be able to "buy" one of New Mexico's most powerful statewide offices.

"Oil and gas is trying to buy their own landlord, and this is a precedent we do not want to see on our state trust lands," she said. "We need to bring to light that these special interests are trying to influence our elections in a big way."

New Mexico's economy relies heavily on the boom-and-bust revenues from oil and gas production. Castillo said renewable energy, including wind and solar energy, need to be part of diversifying the state's economy for future generations.


get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021