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NM Environment Department proposes improved methane safeguards

NM Environment Department proposes improved methane safeguards
May 6, 2021 | News Release Today, the New Mexico Environment Department proposed new rules to limit emissions from oil and gas operations in the state by requiring companies to detect and repair leaks as well as control other pollution sources. The new rules aim to elevate New Mexico’s position for clean air regulations on the oil and gas industry among major-producing states from worst to first. Today’s rules combine with companion rules from the state’s Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) limiting industry venting and flaring of methane targeting that goal. “The Environment Department responded to our call and the call from ... Read More

Senate Passes Resolution to Reinstate Methane Pollution Safeguards

Senate Passes Resolution to Reinstate Methane Pollution Safeguards
April 27, 2021 Senate Passes Resolution to Reinstate Methane Pollution Safeguards Washington, DC — Today, the Senate passed (52-42) a resolution that would reinstate the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 methane pollution safeguards for the oil and gas industry. The move is another critical step forward in undoing the previous administration’s reckless assaults on vital climate and public health protections. Last night, the White House released a statement indicating their support of the resolution. Methane, the primary component of fracked gas, is a powerful climate pollutant that is 87 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the planet in the ... Read More

President Biden Boosts New Mexico’s Clean Car Efforts

President Biden Boosts New Mexico’s Clean Car Efforts
For Immediate Release: Monday, April 26, 2021 President Biden Boosts New Mexico’s Clean Car Efforts New Rule Would Reaffirm New Mexico’s Authority to Set Stronger Vehicle Emission Standards, Helping to Protect the Climate, Improve Public Health, and Save Drivers Money [SANTA FE, NM] — Today, the Biden Administration proposed to restore state authority to adopt stronger vehicle tailpipe pollution standards. The move will help Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham fulfill a pledge to adopt Clean Cars policy in New Mexico in 2021, and boost state efforts to address climate change and clean up the air. It also offers one potential ... Read More

130+ Groups Urge Biden to Act on Methane

130+ Groups Urge Biden to Act on Methane
In a letter to the Biden administration, 134 environmental, public health, and advocacy organizations are urging President Biden to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use the full power of sections 111(b) and 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to reduce methane air pollution from new and existing sources of oil and gas development by 65% by 2025 ... Read More

200 groups to Biden: Align federal fossil fuel programs with U.S. climate goals

200 groups to Biden: Align federal fossil fuel programs with U.S. climate goals
Hundreds of Native American, religious, business and conservation organizations called on the Biden administration to do a comprehensive environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws to align federal fossil fuel programs with U.S. climate goals to curb global warming ... Read More

PNM cites ETA in proposing 100% solar and storage to replace nuclear

PNM cites ETA in proposing 100% solar and storage to replace nuclear
After announcing it would drop one of its leases in the Palo Verde Nuclear plant last year, this month PNM proposed replacing the energy with 100% solar and battery. In support of its proposal, PNM cited the Energy Transition Act’s requirements and the Public Regulation Commission’s decision last year to choose a 100% solar/storage proposal rather than PNM’s favored gas-inclusive replacement scenario for San Juan Generating Station coal. The replacement proposal will need to be approved by the commission ... Read More

NM Environmental Groups Praises Haaland’s Secretarial Orders on Climate, Energy

NM Environmental Groups Praises Haaland’s Secretarial Orders on Climate, Energy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Friday, April 16, 2021
Contact: Camilla Feibelman, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org, 505.715.8388  NM Environmental Groups Praises Haaland’s Secretarial Orders on Climate, Energy  WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Interior Secretary Haaland today issued two executive orders prioritizing action on climate change and revoking Trump administration policies promoting fossil fuel development over the health of communities and the outdoors. The orders ensure that the social cost of carbon and other climate pollution is considered in decision making, and instructs agencies within the Department of the Interior not to adhere to the Trump-era regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). They also focus on economic justice ... Read More

Statements on Congressional Review Act resolution for methane safeguards

Statements on Congressional Review Act resolution for methane safeguards
Senators Heinrich, King, and Markey and Majority Leader Schumer introduced a resolution in the Senate and U.S. Reps. DeGette, Peters, and Lamb introduced a resolution in the House that would reinstate the Environmental Protection Agency's 2016 methane pollution safeguards ... Read More

New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission finalizes rules

New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission finalizes rules
The New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission finalized a new rule proposed by the state’s Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department to limit venting and flaring of methane by the oil and gas industry. The OCC rule marks an important step forward in reducing methane waste, a significant climate pollutant, and holding the oil and gas industry accountable for the tremendous amounts of greenhouse gases it is currently emitting in New Mexico ... Read More

Greater Chaco Coalition Responds to DOI Virtual Forum on Federal Oil and Gas Leasing 

Greater Chaco Coalition Responds to DOI Virtual Forum on Federal Oil and Gas Leasing 
In response to The Department of the Interior virtual public forum the Greater Chaco Coalition, a collaborative effort between over 200 Indigenous community leaders and groups, environmental justice advocates, and environmental groups representing thousands of New Mexicans and millions of Americans issued a public statement that the oil and gas leasing program must be fundamentally reformed ... Read More

Statements on Congressional Review Act resolution for methane safeguards

Statements on Congressional Review Act resolution for methane safeguards
On March 25, Senators Heinrich, King, and Markey and Majority Leader Schumer introduced a resolution in the Senate and U.S. Reps. DeGette, Peters, and Lamb introduced a resolution in the House that would reinstate the Environmental Protection Agency's 2016 methane pollution safeguards ... Read More

Environmental community praises budget increases for  NMED, EMNRD, outdoor recreation

Environmental community praises budget increases for  NMED, EMNRD, outdoor recreation
A coalition of environmental organizations praised efforts by the state legislature to increase funding levels for key agencies like the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD), including the State Parks Division, and the Office of Outdoor Recreation ... Read More

Sierra Club Welcomes Haaland as Secretary of the Interior 

Sierra Club Welcomes Haaland as Secretary of the Interior 
The Senate confirmed Deb Haaland on March 15 to lead the Department of the Interior. Haaland is the first Native American to hold a cabinet position.  ... Read More

Sierra Club Applauds Biden Climate Action on Public Lands, Waters

Sierra Club Applauds Biden Climate Action on Public Lands, Waters
As part of promised swift action on the climate, the Biden Administration is expected to announce it will pause new oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters, review existing leases and permits, and increase offshore wind renewable-energy development. Taken with the existing 60-day pause on fossil-fuel development, which includes an examination of the federal coal-leasing program, the order makes significant progress in addressing climate emissions from public lands.  ... Read More

Sierra Club Praises Haaland Nomination for Department of the Interior

Sierra Club Praises Haaland Nomination for Department of the Interior
Rep. Haaland has championed the environment and public lands during her tenure in Congress and has introduced legislation to make parks and monuments more welcoming by removing racist, anti-Indigenous and offensive names from public spaces. As Interior Secretary she will be uniquely positioned to build on her efforts to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native Tribes. Haaland would be the first Native American to hold a cabinet position.  ... Read More

PRC cites ETA in rejecting El Paso Electric gas expansion

PRC cites ETA in rejecting El Paso Electric gas expansion
On December 16, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously denied El Paso Electric's request to build a 228-MW natural-gas generator, citing EPE’s failure to consider the requirements of the Energy Transition Act ... Read More

Statement on Avangrid purchase of PNM Resources

Statement on Avangrid purchase of PNM Resources
In response to Wednesday’s news of the planned acquisition of PNM Resources by Avangrid, community groups released statements (October 21, 2020) ... Read More

Sierra Club – Rio Grande Chapter Responds to Publication of Draft NM Methane Rule 

Sierra Club - Rio Grande Chapter Responds to Publication of Draft NM Methane Rule 
We are grateful that the Lujan Grisham Administration is moving forward with rules, addressing the global climate crisis, even while facing the urgency of the pandemic ... Read More

New Mexicans Criticize the Trump Administration’s Reversal of EPA Oil and Gas Pollution Protections 

New Mexicans Criticize the Trump Administration’s Reversal of EPA Oil and Gas Pollution Protections 
On August 14, the US EPA finalized its proposals to eliminate methane protections from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards. This rollback undermines EPA’s own mission by threatening public health, and disproportionately hurts Black and Brown communities who are already exposed to air pollution from oil and gas development at much higher rates – the same communities that are already suffering the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic ... Read More

Low-Income and Environmental Advocates Applaud New Mexico’s New Energy Conservation Building Code

Low-Income and Environmental Advocates Applaud New Mexico’s New Energy Conservation Building Code
The New Mexico Construction Industries Commission voted on 8/7 to adopt a statewide energy conservation code based on the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code. This new code will bring NM up to date with its energy code for new buildings, reducing energy use in new residential and commercial buildings by about 25 percent ... Read More

Ruling reinstates Obama administration’s BLM Waste Prevention Rule

Ruling reinstates Obama administration’s BLM Waste Prevention Rule
On July 16, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California invalidated the Trump Administration’s rollback of the Obama-era Waste Prevention Rule. This ruling means that the Waste Prevention Rule goes back in effect in 90 days, and the oil and gas industry will have to comply with the Rule’s requirements to prevent waste of gas on federal lands ... Read More

Court challenge: Feds cut out public on 40,802-acre NM oil and gas leases

Court challenge: Feds cut out public on 40,802-acre NM oil and gas leases
Moving to protect the climate, public health, and to further environmental justice, a coalition filed suit to overturn the sale of leases on nearly 41,000 acres of public land in New Mexico for oil and gas drilling. The BLM did not allow a comment period on the lease sale’s draft environmental assessment, and held only a lightning-quick, 10-day protest period. In addition, the coalition charges that for this lease sale ... Read More

PRC Examiners Include All Renewables As Key Alternative for Replacement for San Juan Coal 

PRC Examiners Include All Renewables As Key Alternative for Replacement for San Juan Coal 
The Public Regulation Commission hearing examiners presented the Commission with several options for replacing the retiring San Juan Generating Station, including an option with 100% renewable energy and battery storage ... Read More

PRC approves job-creating, low-cost renewable/storage projects

PRC approves job-creating, low-cost renewable/storage projects
On May 13, the PRC approved two renewable projects to serve El Paso Electric’s New Mexico and Texas customers. The 100-MW solar Hecate project will be built in Santa Teresa, N.M., and the Buena Vista hybrid project, which has 100 MW of solar plus 50 MW of battery, will be built in Otero County.  ... Read More

Chaco Coalition Responds to Another Trump Administration Broken Promise

Chaco Coalition Responds to Another Trump Administration Broken Promise
On April 30, the BLM Farmington Field Office and Bureau of Indian Affairs denied requests to suspend the public comment period on the controversial drilling plan for the Greater Chaco region, instead the agencies are planning to hold 4 ‘virtual public meetings’ starting mid-May. The Navajo Nation has been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, most families lack internet access to attend these 'meetings.' ... Read More

PRC Delay of San Juan Coal Plant’s Replacement Decision is Unfortunate and Risky

PRC Delay of San Juan Coal Plant’s Replacement Decision is Unfortunate and Risky
It is hard to fathom a PRC that within a week of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day would choose to reject some of the cheapest solar and battery projects in the country. But they did ... Read More

Thousands Call for U.S. Bureau of Land Management to Cancel Sale of Public Lands for Fracking in New Mexico

Thousands Call for U.S. Bureau of Land Management to Cancel Sale of Public Lands for Fracking in New Mexico
A coalition of groups has appealed to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to suspend a proposal to sell public lands for fracking in light of the COVID-19 crisis and the economic collapse of the oil and gas industry ... Read More

Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy PRC approval of Solar Direct Program

Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy PRC approval of Solar Direct Program
The Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy (CCAE) applauds the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for unanimously approving the Solar Direct Program ... Read More

Udall introduces bipartisan bill to update bargain-basement oil and gas rates for public land

Udall introduces bipartisan bill to update bargain-basement oil and gas rates for public land
On February 26, the 100th anniversary of the Mineral Leasing Act, Sen. Tom Udall introduced legislation to update oil and gas royalty rates that have not been increased since the 1920 law passed — as well as minimum bids for our public land that haven’t changed since 1987 ... Read More

Greater Chaco Coalition Responds to BLM’s Broken Promises

Greater Chaco Coalition Responds to BLM’s Broken Promises
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Farmington Field Office and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) released their long-awaited Mancos-Gallup Resource Management Plan Amendment for the Greater Chaco region on Friday, February 28, 2019. With the release of this draft plan, it’s clear the agencies have broken their many promises ... Read More

Statement on San Juan Generating Station recommended decisions

Statement on San Juan Generating Station recommended decisions
On Friday February 21, Public Regulation Commission hearing examiners issued recommended decisions supporting allowing PNM to exit its ownership and operation of San Juan Generating Station coal-fired power plant and allowing bond sales to recover the remaining debt in the plant, along with recovery funds for workers and the surrounding Four Corners community ... Read More

In the news: Time to focus on clean energy solutions that work

In the news: Time to focus on clean energy solutions that work
Why investing in carbon capture is wrong for PNM and wrong for the environment.  ... Read More

PRC approves 140 megawatts of wind for PNM

PRC approves 140 megawatts of wind for PNM
Approval of the Torrance County wind farm will allow PNM to meet its legal requirement to provide 20 percent of its electricity through renewable energy in 2020 ... Read More

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter statement on Supreme Court ruling on the Energy Transition Act

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter statement on Supreme Court ruling on the Energy Transition Act
Our members and supporters have worked hard to ensure a speedy transition to renewables in the light of the climate crisis and a just transition for workers and communities as the coal economy collapses. The Energy Transition Act represented an innovative path forward supported by the public, the legislature, the Governor, the Navajo Nation, and now the Supreme Court.  ... Read More

Environment Day tomorrow: Resident speaks about fracking wastewater leak

Environment Day tomorrow: Resident speaks about fracking wastewater leak
Lobby trainings, speakers, hundreds of New Mexico grassroots activists highlight day of environmental advocacy at Roundhouse For immediate release: Jan. 27, 2020 Contact: Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter director, 505-715-8388 Lobby trainings, speakers, hundreds of New Mexico grassroots activists highlight day of environmental advocacy at Roundhouse Penny Aucoin, who with her husband Dee and their animals was showered by fracking wastewater last week at their home outside Carlsbad after a WPX pipe burst, will speak at a noon rally at the New Mexico Capitol as part of Tuesday’s Environment Day at the Legislature Every year, dozens of environment ... Read More

PRC should choose 100% renewables and storage to replace San Juan coal

PRC should choose 100% renewables and storage to replace San Juan coal
On Tuesday, several Public Regulation Commission members listened to comments from dozens of New Mexicans asking for a full transition away from dirty San Juan coal electricity to renewable energy. Tuesday’s PRC hearing addressed what resources should replace the San Juan coal-fired electricity that PNM plans to stop using in 2022. The commission has separated that case from the one regarding whether it will allow PNM to exit the coal plant and how the exit will be financed ... Read More

Xcel Rate Case Agreement Includes a Commitment to Retire Texas Coal-Fired Power Plant

Xcel Rate Case Agreement Includes a Commitment to Retire Texas Coal-Fired Power Plant
The Sierra Club joined an uncontested comprehensive agreement in a proceeding before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, which will determine whether Xcel Energy can change electricity rates. The agreement includes commitments by Xcel Energy, a subsidiary of Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS) to retire the 1,050 megawatt, coal-fired Tolk power plant in Texas in 2032 ... Read More

Rio Grande Chapter statement on Escalante coal plant closing

Rio Grande Chapter statement on Escalante coal plant closing
Tri-State Generation and Transmission, owner of the Escalante coal-fired power plant in McKinley County, announced that it will close the plant this year. Additionally, Tri-State said it will commit $5 million in transition funds for the community impacted by Escalante’s shuttering. Our response urges them to increase its transition funding ... Read More

Early 2020 Endorsements for Environmental Champions

Early 2020 Endorsements for Environmental Champions
The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club issued its early 2020 endorsements of incumbent legislators who are leading environmental champions. There are many legislators with excellent environmental voting records, however, this list is limited to those candidates who also were sponsors of the Sierra Club’s priority bills ... Read More

NM community leaders applaud Oil Conservation Commission for adopting oil and gas enforcement rules

NM community leaders applaud Oil Conservation Commission for adopting oil and gas enforcement rules
Community leaders across New Mexico applauded the Oil Conservation Commission for acting to protect the state’s air and water resources from oil and gas pollution by adopting new enforcement rules under legislation adopted in the 2019 session ... Read More

Public Condemns Sale of Ancestral Tribal and Public Lands For Fracking

Public Condemns Sale of Ancestral Tribal and Public Lands For Fracking
Tribal governments, as well as thousands of people and more than a dozen groups representing over five million members called on the Trump administration to cancel its plan to lease nearly 15,000 acres of ancestral tribal and federal public lands in New Mexico for fracking ... Read More

Sierra Club response to Governor’s Climate Task Force Report

Sierra Club response to Governor’s Climate Task Force Report
On November 21, 2019, the New Mexico Interagency Climate Change Task Force submitted a report to the governor, putting on full display our climate-conscious path forward as a state ... Read More

New Mexico commits to climate action

New Mexico commits to climate action
On September 24, 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that New Mexico will join 14 other states in adopting clean-car standards requiring new cars sold in the state to emit fewer greenhouse gases ... Read More

Media Advisory: Climate Strike on Friday, September 20th

Media Advisory: Climate Strike on Friday, September 20th
A youth-led walk-out from over 20 Albuquerque Schools will strike against a status quo of complacency, inaction and injustice on climate change, and join global voices to call for a livable future ... Read More

New Mexico BLM Auctions Off More Public Land For Fracking

New Mexico BLM Auctions Off More Public Land For Fracking
On September 5, 2019, environmental advocates gathered in front of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) State Office in Santa Fe to protest the agency’s September 5 online auction of nearly 3,000 acres of public land in the Permian Basin of New Mexico’s Greater Carlsbad region for industrialized fracking ... Read More

New Mexicans speak out against EPA effort to erase critical climate protections

New Mexicans speak out against EPA effort to erase critical climate protections
Wheeler questions EPA’s authority to regulate methane, putting climate, families at risk For Immediate Release: August 29, 2019. Contact: Camilla Feibelman, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org, (505) 715-8388 Today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed to eliminate direct regulation of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards. In New Mexico, this would mean that 4,700 new and existing wells would no longer have to reduce their methane emissions, endangering our climate and our families’ health.  Methane is 80 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, but it disappears from the atmosphere much faster, giving us one ... Read More

Sierra Club statement on appointment of Ken McQueen as EPA Region 6 administrator

Sierra Club statement on appointment of Ken McQueen as EPA Region 6 administrator
On Monday 8/5/2019, the EPA announced the appointment of former oil and gas executive, climate denier and former New Mexico Energy Secretary Ken McQueen as EPA Region 6 administrator. Read the statement from the Rio Grande Sierra Club ... Read More

Sierra Club statement on PNM abandonment filing

Sierra Club statement on PNM abandonment filing
In response to PNM’s abandonment filing at the Public Regulation Commission on Monday, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Director Camilla Feibelman released this statement ... Read More

Udall leads lawmakers in challenging Trump gutting of methane protections

Udall leads lawmakers in challenging Trump gutting of methane protections
For immediate release: June 20, 2019 Amicus brief makes case that Interior’s rollback violates federal law by authorizing waste of public oil and gas resources, harming the public interest
Every year, an estimated $330 million of natural gas is wasted by the oil and gas industry on public and Tribal lands WASHINGTON – On Thursday morning, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies,  and U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, led a group of 51 lawmakers in filing an amicus brief challenging the Trump Interior Department’s decision to revise and ... Read More

Methane Waste and Prevention Act introduced

Methane Waste and Prevention Act introduced
On May 14, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced the Methane Waste and Prevention Act of 2019, a bill that would enact commonsense and cost-effective solutions to reduce methane waste and pollution from oil and gas operations on public lands, protect taxpayers, safeguard public health and mitigate climate change ... Read More

NRC panel rejects all objections to proposed NM nuclear dump

NRC panel rejects all objections to proposed NM nuclear dump
On May 7, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that its Atomic Safety and Licensing Board had rejected every objection made by intervenors challenging Holtec International’s application to build a storage facility for high-level nuclear waste in southeast New Mexico ... Read More

Albuquerque moves beyond plastic bags

Albuquerque moves beyond plastic bags
On April 15, 2019, the City Council of Albuquerque voted to ban single-use plastic bags. It goes into effect January 2020 ... Read More

Sierra Club responds to PNM announcement of 100% carbon free by 2040

Sierra Club responds to PNM announcement of 100% carbon free by 2040
Sierra Club response to PNM's announcement that the power it provides New Mexico will be 100% carbon-free by 2040 ... Read More

Greater Chaco Coalition responds to Congressional visit on oil and gas impacts

Greater Chaco Coalition responds to Congressional visit on oil and gas impacts
Members of the Congressional House Natural Resources Committee visited New Mexico from April 13 to 15 to learn more about the negative impacts of oil and gas drilling on sacred sites and air quality, especially in the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico ... Read More

Groups Applaud Greater Chaco Landscape Protection

photo of entrance to chaco canyon for sierra club article on history of oil discovery in area
New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and Congresswoman Deb Haaland introduced the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act of 2019, which would withdraw federal minerals from oil and gas leasing in roughly a 10-mile buffer around Chaco Culture National Historical Park ... Read More

Protect Communities, Protect the Climate: No New Leases

Protect Communities, Protect the Climate: No New Leases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 28, 2019 Photos: HERE
Frack Off Greater Chaco videos: HERE Contacts Daniel Tso, Navajo Nation Council Delegate, (928) 318-0039
Rebecca Sobel, Climate and Energy Senior Campaigner, WildEarth Guardians, (267) 402-0724
Miya King-Flaherty, Our Wild New Mexico Organizer, Sierra Club-Rio Grande Chapter, (505) 301-0863 Protect Communities, Protect the Climate: No New Leases New Mexicans Strike and Sit-In at BLM State Headquarters to Protest New Fracking in Greater Chaco and Greater Carlsbad Santa Fe, N.M. – Crowds gathered today for a climate strike in front of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) state office in Santa Fe to protest ... Read More

Carbon-free is New Mexico law! Gov. Lujan Grisham signs historic legislation

Carbon-free is New Mexico law! Gov. Lujan Grisham signs historic legislation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 22, 2019 Contact: Mona Blaber, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, monablaber@gmail.com
Stephanie Steinbrecher, Sierra Club Ready for 100, stephanie.steinbrecher@sierraclub.org SANTA FE, NM — On Friday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Energy Transition Act (SB489), which sets a mandate of 100% carbon-free energy for the entire state. The bill, introduced in February, was passed by the state legislature last week. The Energy Transition Act will make electricity generation 100 percent carbon-free by 2045 from the state’s investor-owned utilities, and for all rural cooperative utilities by 2050. The law also plans for a just ... Read More

Over 30,000 Protests Delivered Opposing Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Over 30,000 Protests Delivered Opposing Oil and Gas Lease Sale
On February 20, 2019, crowds gathered at the New Mexico Legislature to celebrate the state’s public lands and call for their protection as a diverse coalition of tribal leaders, legislators, land users, and allied organizations showcased the delivery of 30,000 public protests to the BLM in opposition to its March 2019 oil and gas lease sale ... Read More

Landmark Energy Transition Act passes NM Legislature!

Landmark Energy Transition Act passes NM Legislature!
On Tuesday March 12, the New Mexico State House passed SB489, the Energy Transition Act, sending this landmark legislation to Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s office. Nearly 1,000 New Mexico Sierra Club supporters contacted their legislators in support of this life-saving and economy-fueling legislation ... Read More

Sierra Club Report – Clean Energy and Battery Storage the Lowest-Cost Option to Replace San Juan Coal Plant

Sierra Club Report - Clean Energy and Battery Storage the Lowest-Cost Option to Replace San Juan Coal Plant
A study finds a mix of renewable energy, battery storage, and energy efficiency is the lowest-cost option for Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) to replace the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. San Juan is on track to close in 2022 ... Read More

Sierra Club statement on Gov. Lujan Grisham’s executive order

Sierra Club statement on Gov. Lujan Grisham’s executive order
For immediate release: Jan. 29, 2019. Contact: Camilla Feibelman, Rio Grande Chapter director, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday formally ordered that New Mexico will join the U.S. Climate Alliance, embracing the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement and aligning New Mexico with the U.S. governors and states that have committed to a climate-conscious future of protecting people, natural resources and cultural heritage. In response, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Chair David Coss issued the following statement: “Climate change is the greatest crisis facing humanity. If we don’t act urgently, climate disruption will negatively impact ... Read More

Sierra Club responds to land commissioner’s ban on killing contests

Sierra Club responds to land commissioner’s ban on killing contests
Garcia Richard’s decision is a victory for sound wildlife management For immediate release: Jan. 10, 2019   Contact: Mary Katherine Ray, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife chair, 575-772-5655, mkrscrim@gmail.com On Thursday, New Mexico Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard announced a ban on cruel coyote-killing contests on the 9.5 million acres of state trust land. The ban also applies to other non-protected species. “We applaud Land Commissioner Garcia Richard’s announcement prohibiting the competitive killing of our state’s wildlife on state trust land,” said Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife Chair Mary Katherine Ray. “These organized wildlife massacres do not meet any ... Read More

Greater Chaco Advocates Rally at BLM to Protest Sale of Over 89,000 Acres for Fracking

Greater Chaco Advocates Rally at BLM to Protest Sale of Over 89,000 Acres for Fracking
Over 200 clean air and water advocates rallied in front of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) state office in Santa Fe today to protest the December 5th and 6th online auction of over 89,000 acres of public and ancestral tribal lands, including over 44,000 acres in the Greater Chaco region, and over 40,000 near Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Tribal leaders, environmental groups, and advocates expressed growing outrage at BLM’s chronic disengagement with the public, its lack of meaningful tribal consultation, and its failure to consider the public health and environmental impacts of selling off federal and tribal lands for ... Read More

Hundreds of Thousands Speak Out Against Rollback of Methane Protections

Hundreds of Thousands Speak Out Against Rollback of Methane Protections
At EPA’s only public hearing on the proposed methane rule rollback held in Denver last month, the overwhelming majority of speakers testified in favor of existing protections. Opponents of rolling back these commonsense protections had submitted nearly 400,000 comments urging EPA to keep them in place ... Read More

 New Mexicans testify in Denver against gutting of EPA methane safeguards

 New Mexicans testify in Denver against gutting of EPA methane safeguards
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, starting at 8 a.m. Mountain, an array of New Mexicans are testifying at a public hearing in Denver, speaking out against the Trump administration’s plan to gut EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas facilities.  Their testimony will be live-streamed at www.facebook.com/NMSierraClub/.  ... Read More

Trump Administration Guts Second Oil and Gas Waste and Pollution Rule in a Week

Trump Administration Guts Second Oil and Gas Waste and Pollution Rule in a Week
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rolled back its Methane Waste Rule just seven days after the Trump administration gutted EPA rules to reduce methane pollution ... Read More

EPA: Oil and Gas Wells Can Keep on Polluting and Wasting Methane

EPA: Oil and Gas Wells Can Keep on Polluting and Wasting Methane
For Immediate Release: September 11, 2018 Contact: Camilla Feibelman, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org, 505.715.8388 Agency Guts Leak-Reduction Safeguards; Citizens Protest Today, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed weakening the EPA’s Methane Rules, which have been in force for almost a year, for the oil and gas industry. When first proposed under the Obama Administration, more than 27,000 New Mexicans commented in favor of these rules meant to stop oil and gas waste and pollution. These common-sense safeguards limit the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas infrastructure, and also protect communities from other harmful pollutants released ... Read More

Zinke Proposes More Fracking in Greater Chaco, Despite Need for More Analysis

Zinke Proposes More Fracking in Greater Chaco, Despite Need for More Analysis
Lease sale targets the same region as a March sale deferred due to need for more cultural review and consultation ... Read More

Zinke meets privately in New Mexico while public is locked outside

Zinke meets privately in New Mexico while public is locked outside
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was in New Mexico July 25 for an unannounced, closed-door event at the Tamaya resort. The citizens who showed up to protest Interior Department actions were locked out, and not even allowed on Tamaya grounds ... Read More

Community, Tribal, and Faith Leaders Protest DOI Royalty Policy Committee in Albuquerque

Community, Tribal, and Faith Leaders Protest DOI Royalty Policy Committee in Albuquerque
Community, religious, and Tribal leaders rallied in Albuquerque June 6 outside of the Interior Department’s industry-packed Royalty Policy Committee meeting to protest further attempts to reduce royalty rates for extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and the Trump Administration’s prioritization of industry voices over the public good ... Read More

Additional public meetings on NM nuclear dump scheduled

Additional public meetings on NM nuclear dump scheduled
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2018 Growing concern across the state about the risks of a controversial proposal to store high-level radioactive waste in Southeast New Mexico has resulted in the addition of two Nuclear Regulatory Commission public meetings and an extension of the public comment period from May 29 to July 30. The public meetings are set for Gallup and Albuquerque. In addition, the New Mexico Legislature’s Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Interim Committee will hold a meeting to address state impacts of the plan on May 18. Holtec International wants to create a dump for supposedly “interim” storage of the ... Read More

Comments: NM VW Trust Fund

Comments: NM VW Trust Fund
The Rio Grande Sierra Club submitted comments to the NM Environment Department urging them to use our share of the VW settlement to reduce NOx pollution by supporting electric vehicles ... Read More

SE New Mexico businesspeople voice concerns about storage site

SE New Mexico businesspeople voice concerns about storage site
“We don’t want it,” say local businesspeople concerned about radioactive-waste impacts of proposed SE New Mexico nuclear storage site. Read the 4/30/2018 press release ... Read More

Hundreds of Thousand Oppose Evisceration of BLM Methane Rule

Hundreds of Thousand Oppose Evisceration of BLM Methane Rule
As of midnight April 23, over 400,000 people registered overwhelming opposition to the Trump Administration's evisceration of the BLM methane rules that would have drastically cut oil and gas waste and pollution ... Read More

Citizens speak about risks of proposed nuclear dump in New Mexico

Citizens speak about risks of proposed nuclear dump in New Mexico
Holtec International has a controversial plan to store up to 100,000 tons of the nation’s most dangerous nuclear-reactor waste, for as long as 120 years, at a site between Hobbs and Carlsbad. Public hearings will be held at four locations in SE New Mexico and comments are also being accepted ... Read More

Millions In Taxpayer Revenues Go Up In Flames

Millions In Taxpayer Revenues Go Up In Flames
As the sun set April 7, passersby were able to make out an image projected onto the building at 300 San Mateo, at the corner of San Mateo and Central. The image prominently featured a ticker of the value  of natural gas being wasted by industry on public and tribal lands in New Mexico, totaling more than $100 million ... Read More

Greater Chaco Employs “Warning” Signs to Combat Fracking

Greater Chaco Employs “Warning” Signs to Combat Fracking
Ignored by the Bureau of Land Management, which continues to auction off their community to fracking, community members in the Greater Chaco region are taking a stand against unchecked drilling and oil and gas leasing near their homes by planting signs along U.S. 550 in Counselor, N.M. The messages read: Entering Energy Sacrifice Zone, We Are Greater Chaco, Violence Against Land is Violence Against Us, Extraction Threatens Our Health and Safety, Selloff Of Sacred Lands Dooda, and Methane Gas: Odorless Toxic in Our Air ... Read More

Greater Chaco spared from fracking auction

photo of chaco canyon national park entrance for sierra club article on oil drilling in nearby communities
On Thursday, March 2, the Interior Department announced the cancellation of an oil and gas lease sale near Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site in northern New Mexico. The leases would have auctioned off an additional 4,434 acres in the Greater Chaco region for industrialized fracking, exposing local communities to increased pollution and threatening ancient ruins considered sacred by Indigenous Nations ... Read More

NRC: store radioactive wastes in NM

NRC: store radioactive wastes in NM
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday accepted Holtec International’s application to store up to 100,000 metric tons of spent fuel rods from the more than 100 U.S. commercial nuclear reactors at a site between Carlsbad and Hobbs ... Read More

BLM Finalizes Methane Rule Delay

BLM Finalizes Methane Rule Delay
Today, Secretary Zinke finalized his delay of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Methane and Waste Prevention rule until January 2019. The rule was designed to limit the waste of $330 million-dollars worth of methane from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands each year through leaks, flaring and intentional releases ... Read More

Sandoval officials side with Big Oil and Gas over residents

Sandoval officials side with Big Oil and Gas over residents
For immediate release: Sept. 14, 2017
Last week, the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-2 to recommend an oil and gas ordinance that would bypass public input and endanger drinking water. But there’s still time to stop it. Commissioner Dan Stoddard’s ordinance, recommended Tuesday with few changes by the P and Z Commission, would give county staff sole authority to approve or deny drilling applications. “Staff could allow oil and gas drilling without public notice, hearings or a vote by the county commission,” Rio Grande Sierra Club Public Lands Fellow Miya King-Flaherty said. “All an oil or gas ... Read More

Gov. Martinez’s twisting of science is dangerous and bad for education

Gov. Martinez’s twisting of science is dangerous and bad for education
New Mexico’s Public Education Department released proposed science standards that scrubs climate change and even the age of the Earth from our schools. This is the response of the Rio Grande Sierra Club ... Read More

New Mexico Residents Respond to Zinke’s Public Lands Recommendations

Photo of Organ Mountains by the Bureau of Land Management for an article by the Rio Grande Sierra Club about Organ Mountains / Four Corners Legislation passed by Sens. Udall and Heinrich
In response to Secretary Zinke's call to change management of our newest national monuments, the Rio Grande Chapter has organized rallies across the state ... Read More

Sierra Club Statement on Trump’s Termination of DACA

Sierra Club Statement on Trump's Termination of DACA
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Contact: Lauren Lantry, lauren.lantry@sierraclub.org WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today in the midst of a national emergency along the Gulf Coast, Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, is set to announce the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, leaving it up to congress to protect the more than 800,000 young undocumented immigrants in the program. DACA, put in place by the Obama administration, provided protections from deportations and the ability to work and attend school for young undocumented immigrants, or Dreamers, brought to the U.S. as children. Houston is home to 56,800 dreamers. In response, Sierra ... Read More

Groups Challenge Trump Administration’s Delay of BLM Methane Rule

image of press release
The Sierra Club and partners filed a lawsuit challenging BLM’s recent decision to suspend key parts of the BLM Methane rule ... Read More

New Mexicans, Four Corners Residents Testify in DC to Protect EPA Methane Rules

New Mexicans, Four Corners Residents Testify in DC to Protect EPA Methane Rules
For immediate release: July 11th, 2017
Contact: Camilla Feibelman, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub. org, 505.715.8388 Washington, DC – Yesterday an array of New Mexicans and Four Corners area residents testified in Washington DC against a delay of the EPA’s methane pollution standards. The agency should have implemented the Leak Detection and Repair aspect of the rule at the beginning of June, but attempted to stay these rules for 90-days, and action which a DC court denied. The Washington hearings are part of an additional, formal public process to delay the rule for 2 years. Moms, doctors and tribal leaders expressed deep concerns about ... Read More

Clean Air Task Force * Earthworks

Photo of natural gas fire by Tod Baker for an article by the Rio Grande Sierra Club about oil and gas risks in New Mexico
For Immediate Release CONTACTS: Alan Septoff, Earthworks, 202-271-2355, aseptoff@earthworksaction.org
Stuart Ross, Clean Air Task Force, 914-649-5037, sross@catf.us Hundreds of thousands threatened by Pruitt’s proposal to block EPA oil & gas methane safeguards As impacted citizens testify that ‘stay’ will harm their health, new analysis shows over 200,000 live within ½ mile threat radius of 18,000 affected facilities Washington, D.C., July 10th –On the same day the Environmental Protection Agency takes public comment on Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposal to stay for 2 years the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) to limit oil and gas methane pollution, a new analysis shows more than 203,000 Americans, ... Read More

Court defends oil and gas waste rule, a win for New Mexico’s kids and economy

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A federal appeals court in Washington D.C. blocked the Trump Administration’s suspension of EPA standards that keep the oil and gas industry’s pollution out of the air our children breathe ... Read More

Dirty-Water Move by Trump Administration Threatens New Mexico Waters

Dirty-Water Move by Trump Administration Threatens New Mexico Waters
For immediate release – June 27, 2017
Contacts: Rachel Conn, Amigos Bravos, 575.770.8327, www.amigosbravos.org Washington – On June 27 the Trump Administration started the process to repeal the Clean Water Rule, putting the sources of drinking water for more than 117 million Americans at risk and increasing threats to streams and wetlands that filter pollution and provide habitat for wildlife. “The Trump Administration has once again proved it only cares about one thing – putting polluters first. Repealing the Clean Water Rule puts the drinking water for hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans at risk” said Rachel Conn, Projects Director for ... Read More

NM Groups Glad Methane-Waste Rule is Safe, for Now

NM Groups Glad Methane-Waste Rule is Safe, for Now
Albuquerque, NM - Last week, with three Republicans siding with Democrats, the U.S. Senate narrowly halted a bid to overturn the Bureau of Land Management's natural-gas waste rule. But that doesn't mean the rule's fate has been decided. Comments from Mona Blaber (BLAY-ber), communications coordinator, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter ... Read More

Sierra Club statement on PNM early coal exit

Photo of PNM's San Juan Coal Fired Generator Plant for the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter website
For immediate release: April 21, 2017
In response to PNM’s proposal to eliminate coal from its energy portfolio by 2031, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Director Camilla Feibelman released the following statement: “PNM’s announcement that early retirement of San Juan and Four Corners coal plants will save customers money is a clear demonstration that coal is no longer economically sustainable. Across the nation, utilities are planning early retirements for coal plants, including San Juan, Four Corners and Navajo Generating Station, because coal is simply being outcompeted by less-expensive sources, including wind, solar and energy efficiency. We must take this ... Read More

58 New Mexico officials send letter urging opposition to Pruitt EPA nomination

58 New Mexico officials send letter urging opposition to Pruitt EPA nomination
Citing EPA nominee Scott Pruitt’s conflicts of interest and opposition to protecting the environment, 58 current and former New Mexico elected officials signed a letter Wednesday asking our congressional delegation to oppose the nomination ... Read More

Public Demands Greater Chaco Protection

Public Demands Greater Chaco Protection
On Monday night, 36 tankers storing crude oil and wastewater exploded and burned. According to reports, approximately 10 families were evacuated. According to reports this morning, the fire has yet to be extinguished ... Read More

Statement on PNM rate case decision

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On Monday night, 36 tankers storing crude oil and wastewater exploded and burned. According to reports, approximately 10 families were evacuated. According to reports this morning, the fire has yet to be extinguished ... Read More

Crude Oil and Wastewater Tankers Explode

image of press release
On Monday night, 36 tankers storing crude oil and wastewater exploded and burned. According to reports, approximately 10 families were evacuated. According to reports this morning, the fire has yet to be extinguished ... Read More

New map displays methane threat to New Mexico

Map of methane threats in New Mexico by oilandgasthreatmap.com
Albuquerque, NM — On June 15, a coalition of groups released OilAndGasThreatMap.com, a new tool that maps the locations of the 58,777 oil and gas facilities operating in New Mexico and the populations, schools and hospitals within a half-mile radius of those facilities. Peer-reviewed science shows that living near polluting oil and gas facilities is associated with negative health impacts, including fetal defects and respiratory ailments. “The oil and gas industry is recklessly leaking millions of tons of methane pollution and toxic chemicals such as such as benzene, formaldehyde & ethylbenzene into the air, harming our health and speeding climate ... Read More

PNM’s Rate Hike is Bad for New Mexicans

pnm utility bill
For Immediate Release: May 17, 2016 Contact: Camilla Feibelman, 505-715-8388camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org Albuquerque, NM – New Mexicans from around the state gathered at PNM’s Albuquerque headquarters and at the PNM shareholder meeting in Lewistown, Texas, Tuesday to protest a 15.8% PNM rate increase that asks consumers to foot the bill for unnecessary capital investments and more coal and nuclear. In Lewistown, over a dozen people rallied at the shareholder meeting with signs reading “Texans in Solidarity with New Mexicans”, calling on PNM to move from a dependance on fossil fuels to renewable energy.  Inside the meeting three New Mexico-based shareholders presented resolutions that ... Read More

Obama Administration Finalizes Safeguards for Methane Pollution

Obama Administration Finalizes Safeguards for Methane Pollution
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 12, 2016 Contacts: Camilla Feibelman, 505-715-8388, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org
Mike Eisenfeld, 505-360-8994, mike@sanjuancitizens.org
Joan Brown, 505-266-6966, joankansas@swcp.com
Molly Sanders, 505-554-4115, molly@cvnm.org
Tom Singer, 505-231-1070, singer@westernlaw.org JOINT STATEMENT FROM NEW MEXICO ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS Albuquerque, NM – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized standards for methane pollution, a component of natural gas, from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector. These safeguards are the first-ever national standards for methane pollution, a greenhouse gas that is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the near term. Last month, the EPA released its Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, ... Read More

Moms, community members, elected officials praise EPA methane standards

Moms, community members, elected officials praise EPA methane standards
Albuquerque, N.M. — On Thursday, May 12, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the first nationwide safeguards limiting dangerous methane pollution from new and modified sources in the oil and gas industry. These standards are projected to reduce 460,000 metric tons of methane pollution per year by 2025 – the equivalent of 11 coal-fired power plants – and save Americans $100 million annually in costs related to methane and toxic air pollution. “As a city commissioner, but more essentially as a human being, I’m speaking out in favor of accountability, not against oil and gas. I live in the Four Corners ... Read More

Citizen Groups Challenge Fracking in Santa Fe National Forest

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For Immediate Release
May 4, 2016 Citizen Groups Challenge Fracking in Santa Fe National Forest
Legal Push Part of Broader Effort to Safeguard Greater Chaco from Oil and Gas Industry Contacts:
Kyle Tisdel, Western Environmental Law Center, 575-613-8050, tisdel@westernlaw.org
Samantha Ruscavage-Barz, WildEarth Guardians, 505-401-4180, sruscavagebarz@wildearthguardians.org
Mike Eisenfeld, San Juan Citizens Alliance, 505-360-8994, mike@sanjuancitizens.org
Rachel Conn, Amigos Bravos, 575-770-8327, rconn@amigosbravos.org
Teresa Seamster, Sierra Club, 505-983-2703, ctc.seamster@gmail.com 
Carol Davis, Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, 928-221-7859, caroljdavis.2004@gmail.com SANTA FE, NM — In a bid to protect New Mexico’s water, air, and climate, a coalition of environmental groups filed suit yesterday challenging the Obama ... Read More

New Mexico Elected Officials Call For Reduction of Methane Pollution

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For Immediate Release:
Thursday, April 25th, 2016 Contact:
Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club, Camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org, 505.715.8388
Matt Ross, City of Santa Fe, mross@ci.santa-fe.nm.us, 505.795.4169 New Mexico Elected Officials Call For Reduction of Methane Pollution  68 Mayors and County Commissioners Sign Letter in Support of EPA Rules Today, Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales joined 68 mayors and county commissioners, 7 from New Mexico, to send a letter to President Barack Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Gina McCarthy urging them to take action on dangerous methane pollution from new and existing oil and gas industry sources. This group of leaders from 13 ... Read More

US-Canada Pact Will Help Clear New Mexico Skies

US-Canada Pact Will Help Clear New Mexico Skies
Originally posted by Public News Service March 16, 2016 SANTA FE, N.M. – Environmentalists are cheering a recent agreement between President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that will reduce the release of methane from both new and existing sources. The leaders signed a wide-ranging environmental agreement last week that will help both the United States and Canada meet their obligations under the 2015 Paris climate change agreement. Camilla Feibelman, executive director of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club, said the pact will go a long way toward helping New Mexico reduce its massive methane cloud. “The Obama administration ... Read More

President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau announce climate-strategy agreement

President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau announce climate-strategy agreement
Leaders Lay Out Plan To Drastically Cut Greenhouse Gases and Grow Clean Energy, Protect the Arctic, and Address Methane Pollution Thursday, March 10, 2016
Contact: Camilla Feibelman, (505) 715-8388, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org
Jonathon Berman, (202) 297-7533, jonathon.berman@sierraclub.org WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an agreement to address the climate crisis, expand our clean-energy economy, commit both nations to Arctic conservation, and address the need for safeguards to cut dangerous methane from both new and existing sources.
The agreement commits both countries to laying out a strategy to significantly reduce greenhouse gases by 2050, encourages the international expansion of domestic efforts to ... Read More

Statement on Signing of SB72 Into Law

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For immediate release: March 4, 2016 Contacts: Jessica Johnson, Animal Protection Voters chief legislative officer, Jessica@apnm.org, (505) 220-6656
Dan Lorimier, daniel.lorimier@sierraclub.org, 575-740-2927
Eleanor Bravo, Food and Water Watch, ebravo@fwwatch.org, 505-730-8474
Rev. Holly Beaumont, Interfaith Worker Justice — New Mexico,  hbeaumont@iwj.org, 505-660-5018 On Thursday, Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law Senate Bill 72, another effort by New Mexico’s industrial dairy industry to immunize itself from responsibility for the pollution and nuisance created by these operations. Many homeowners who live near dairies and other agricultural operations bought their homes decades ago, when nearby operations were much smaller and had little or no ... Read More

New Mexicans seize opportunity to discuss recent methane standards

New Mexicans seize opportunity to discuss recent methane standards
Farmington, N.M. — On Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a public hearing at San Juan College in Farmington, providing community members the opportunity to offer their support for the methane standards proposed earlier this year. Those speaking in favor of the proposed rules outnumbered those in opposition by more than 2 to 1. The recently proposed standards will reduce methane waste from oil and gas operations on public lands, complementing the safeguards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. In response, a coalition of community and environmental groups released the following statements: “No family should have ... Read More

Community groups applaud recommendation to deny SandRidge application

no fracking logo
Community groups on Thursday welcomed the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation to deny an application by troubled Oklahoma corporation SandRidge Energy Inc. to drill an exploratory oil well, but the groups urged the county to adopt a moratorium on all oil and gas extraction until ordinances can be developed to protect community health, air, water and other resources from such operations. Hundreds of Sandoval County residents turned out to the two committee hearings on the topic, and more than 1,000 signed a petition opposing the special-use permit to drill in an area zoned residential. “While this is a ... Read More

Over 25,000 New Mexicans Support Cutting Methane Emissions

Map of western US that shows methane emissions
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Contact: Camilla Feibelman, Rio Grande Chapter Director, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org, 505.715.8388 Resources: Power Point Presentation | Video of Methane Venting in Aztec NM A coalition of groups from around the state announced Tuesday that more than 25,000 New Mexicans have submitted comments in support of Obama Administration safeguards that would help to reduce dangerous methane leakage from oil and gas operations around the country. Citizens have until Friday, Dec. 4, to comment and can do so at www.sc.org/CutMethane “More than 25,000 New Mexicans have joined over 700,000 people throughout the country in support of the President’s efforts to control ... Read More

Chapter ad campaign urges Gov. Martinez to do right thing for cougars, bears

Chapter ad campaign urges Gov. Martinez to do right thing for cougars, bears
Game Commission to make another important decision — this time about endangered
Mexican wolves — on Sept. 29
On Monday, the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter launched a radio campaign targeting Gov. Susana Martinez regarding her Game Commission’s decisions to allow trapping of cougars and increased bear-killing by trophy hunters. The ads ask New Mexicans to urge Martinez to direct her Game Commission to reverse the cougar and bear votes. Listen to the recording here (to donate to keep the ad on the air and broaden its reach, please cllick here): https://www.riograndesierraclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Bears-and-Cougars-092115-REV_mixdown.mp3 To donate to keep our ads on the ... Read More

Chapter statement on Game Commission’s cougar, bear vote

Photo of Brown Bear for Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter website
SANTA FE, N.M. — On Aug. 27, the New Mexico Game Commission voted to approve trapping for cougars on 9 million acres of state trust land and private land throughout New Mexico. The commission also voted to increase bear-hunting quotas. Both decisions came without sufficient scientific evidence and in the face of overwhelming public opposition. More than 1,000 New Mexicans sent written comments and several hundred people came to Thursday’s meeting to ask the Commission not to adopt New Mexico Game and Fish’s proposals, which may put bear populations in danger and would allow traps on private and state trust ... Read More

Sierra Club applauds new methane pollution standard

coal mine
The Obama Administration on Aug. 18 introduced the first-ever proposed methane pollution standards for new and modified oil and gas facilities, a landmark announcement that will blunt the projected growth of methane and smog-forming pollution produced by the industry in New Mexico. The newly proposed standards will help to safeguard public health and put the United States closer to being on track to meet the Administration’s goal of reducing oil and gas methane pollution by 40 to 45 percent by 2025. “New Mexicans were shocked to hear about the country’s biggest methane plume over the Four Corners area last year. Since ... Read More

Conservation groups ask NM Game Commission to oppose cougar-trapping proposal

Cougars, traps, Game Commission
For Immediate Release, May 1, 2015 Contacts: Mary Katherine Ray, (575) 772­-5655, mkrscrim@gmail.com; Phil Carter, (505) 967­-5297, phil@apnm.org; Michael Robinson, (575) 313­7017, michaelr@biologicaldiversity.org; Kevin Bixby, (575) 649­-7260, kevin@wildmesquite.org; Judy Paulsen, (505) 899­-3245, jpaulsen@projectcoyote.org SILVER CITY, N.M.— Eight conservation organizations in the TrapFree New Mexico coalition sent a letter today urging state game commissioners to reject the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s proposed cougar trapping season. The coalition letter highlights the dangers traps pose to outdoor enthusiasts, nontarget animals and pets like the dog caught in a trap last month in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Owners of accidentally trapped pets ... Read More

City Bulldozes the Bosque and Public Trust

Photo of a plowed path in the Rio Grande Bosque for the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter website
For Immediate Release: February 12, 2015
Photos and videos available
Contact: Camilla Feibelman, (505) 715-8388 Albuquerque, NM ­ On Monday the Bosque Action Team received maps of three different options for trails in the Bosque, part of a public process on how to restore and formalize trails in the Bosque. On Tuesday the City of Albuquerque had bladed a 6-­foot­-wide trail through the Bosque. Members of the Bosque Action Team, who had been working with the City in a productive public participation process, were stunned by the move. “Mayor Richard Berry ordered a trail to be plowed through the Bosque on ... Read More

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Director Camilla Feibelman confirmed by Senate as Udall Foundation trustee

Photo of Camilla Feibelman
For immediate release: Dec. 17, 2014
Contact: Mona Blaber, (505) ­660-­5905, monablaber@gmail.com, or Camilla Feibelman, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org, (505) ­715-­8388 Albuquerque, NM ­­ Camilla Feibelman, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter director, was confirmed be the U.S. Senate on Tuesday as a trustee of the Morris K and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.
A former Udall Scholar, Feibelman (photo attached) will join the foundation for a term that expires in 2017. The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is a federal agency providing programs to promote leadership, education, collaboration, and conflict resolution in the areas of environment, public lands and natural resources ... Read More