NMELC in the News

New Mexico Senators, Advocates Back Biden Oil and Gas Plans

By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

January 27, 2021

The Biden administration last week suspended for 60 days the regulatory authority of federal land managers in field offices across the country, meaning any decisions regarding leasing, permitting or other reviews and approvals have to be funneled to top officials with the U.S. Interior Department.

Virginia Necochea, executive director of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, said the moratorium will force decision-makers in New Mexico and elsewhere to act more quickly on climate change and environmental justice issues. “This is our opportunity to end the practice of ‘profits over people.’ Now is not the time to exempt oil and gas operators from this critically necessary moratorium.” 

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NM Begins Methane Rule Hearing

By Theresa Davis, Albuquerque Journal

January 4, 2021

Constant gas flares lighting up the sky over New Mexico’s oil fields may soon be a scene from the past, under new rules proposed by the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to reduce methane waste in the oil and gas industry.

The Oil Conservation Commission began two weeks of remotely held online hearings for the proposed rules on Monday with a full day of public comment.

Oil and gas operators would need to meet a 98% gas capture rate by the end of 2026 under the proposed rule.

But some commenters, including attorney Doug Meiklejohn with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, said nearly six years is too much time.

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A Report on Environmental Racism in NM, a Report Showing Small Business Covid Relief Went to Big Corps, Stunning New GA Polls & a Report Asking When Are Trump’s Actions Sedition?

By Paul Gibson, Retake Our Democracy

Call To Action: Since When Is Asphalt Agriculture

Retake Board Member, Miguel Acosta shared the info below. It is the second time now we have reported on an asphalt plant trying to expand their operations into residential or agricultural communities. Only a week ago, we reported on approval of an asphalt plant in South Santa Fe and now another effort in the Mountain View neighborhood of ABQ. With a Democratic Governor, State Senate, State House, State Land Office, and Mayor of ABQ, how is it that we are having to raise our voices to oppose such an obvious instance of environmental racism?

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Biden, Kerry, Asphalt Fumes in the South Valley and “World War Zero”

By V.B. Price, Mercury Messenger

According to the New Mexico Environmental Law Center representing the neighborhood, the City of Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department just before Thanksgiving made what seems to me to be an utterly insensitive, monstrous assault on the public health of Mountain View.

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Release of Radioactive Tritium a Bad Idea

Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It emits beta radiation, which can be very dangerous if inhaled. Like other forms of ionizing radiation, tritium can cause cancer, genetic mutations and birth defects, and assorted other adverse health effects. So it is...

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Residents Voice Concerns about LANL Releasing Tritium Vapors

Area residents expressed concerns this week about the potential health hazards of releasing radioactive vapors into the atmosphere from four barrels of tritium-laced waste stored at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Most who spoke during a virtual forum Tuesday hosted...

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Letter to the Editor: EPA enforcement memo creates confusion

By Charles de Saillan in the Santa Fe New Mexican “A ball of confusion,” the Temptations sang in 1970, “that’s what the world is today, hey, hey.” Fifty years later, amid COVID-19, those lyrics ring eerily true. On March 26, the Environmental Protection Agency added...

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LANL to Release Radioactive Gas into Atmosphere

“Los Alamos National Laboratory will release radioactive vapors into the atmosphere to ventilate several barrels of tritium-tainted waste generated during the Cold War ... Lab personnel will ventilate one container at a time and filter the released vapors through...

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Radioactive Legacy Haunts Red Water Pond Road Community

RED WATER POND ROAD, N.M. — The village of Red Water Pond Road sits in the southeast corner of the Navajo Nation, a tiny speck in a dry valley surrounded by scrub-covered mesas. Many families have lived here for generations. The federal government wants to move them...

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