skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

A trio of NM bills could rein in lucrative oil, gas industry

play audio
Play

Wednesday, January 24, 2024   

A trio of bills to curb oil and gas pollution is under consideration by New Mexico lawmakers.

New Mexico is the country's second-largest oil producer and a top gas producer.

Rep. Debbie Sariñana, D-Albuquerque, co-chair of Elected Officials to Protect America and chair of the group's New Mexico Leadership Council, believes policy changes are needed to protect children from pollution and prevent fresh water from being wasted during the state's ongoing megadrought.

Despite what some believe, she argued the bills are not designed to shut down the industry, which she acknowledged is important to the state's bottom line.

"We're just trying to regulate the industry, so they're not operating in a way that wastes our fresh water," Sariñana explained. "They have to operate according to basic environmental and public health principles."

The bills would limit the use of fresh water in oil and gas operations, impose mandatory fines for chemical spills, and establish stricter setbacks from school facilities as a means to create child health protection zones. A spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association said it is watching the bills, and supports those "grounded in science."

Sariñana said she's determined to change how New Mexico gets energy from fossil fuels and transition the state to clean renewables. She feels strongly adults and children who live near oil and gas wells should not be inhaling byproducts and getting sick.

"What makes these people who live in that area so 'not important' that we as a state believe gas and oil should be doing what they want?" Sariñana asked. "These people are getting sicker, and they're front line people and Indigenous people. They're people of color, and they're just as important as everyone else."

Recent studies have shown living near oil and gas wells increases a person's exposure to air pollution and thereby increases the likelihood of illness. New Mexico has several towns in the middle of oil fields as well as schools next to fossil fuel well sites.

Disclosure: Elected Officials to Protect America contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Coal production in the Powder River Basin was 50% lower in the first quarter of 2024 than the first quarter of 2014, by about 49 million tons. (Robert Coy/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new policy could affect the future of coal mining in the Powder River Basin and in turn, Wyoming's tax structure. The Powder River Basin produced …


Social Issues

play sound

Health care advocates are speaking out against proposed cuts to a California program that provides in-home care aides to low-income seniors and people…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Children's advocates are pressing California lawmakers to pass a bill that would increase oversight on health plans when they deny mental health servi…


Social Issues

play sound

The nonprofit Save the Children is working with child care centers along the Mississippi coast, with plans and tools to help them reopen or resume …

Michigan consistently ranks high as a state for contact volume to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, with the 11th-highest rate in the nation in 2023. (Africa Studio)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Four years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are still studying its effects on society. A new report focusing on domestic …

Environment

play sound

Arizona is already warming up, and a new report sheds light on how climate change is intensifying that heat. Last year, just under 650 heat-…

Social Issues

play sound

Residents of north Texas continue to clean up after the latest in a string of deadly tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 …

 

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