Around the country (& the world), we are seeing some of the consequences of decades of inaction on climate change. Fires are blazing up and down the west coast, residents throughout New Mexico are suddenly finding dead birds near their homes or out on the trails. This article details some of the possible health impacts from fires in Oregon, we are seeing some of the worst air quality ever recorded in cities in this region.
This morning, Democracy Now reports that more than 5 million acres across California, Washington, Oregon have been consumed, dozens of individuals have died. Farmworkers growing and harvesting the food in our grocery stores, most migrant or undocumented farmworkers are forced to work in unbreathable conditions - even in evacuation zones.
Here are this week's updates on the recent Legislative hearings, Produced Water rule making, and our latest legislative conversation around the climate crisis & New Mexico's role in creating new opportunities.
Did you know that on November 3, every seat in the New Mexico Legislature is up for election? There are so many important local seats up for grabs. Get a head start in getting an absentee ballot - GO HERE! This is the fastest and easiest way to request your absentee ballot. Or you can APPLY WITH YOUR COUNTY CLERK - You can ask your clerk for a paper form in person, by mail, phone, or email.
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is October 20, 2020.
SEPTEMBER 15 @ 6:00 PM MST
Artemisio Romero y Carver will be moderating an interview with Dylan Rodríguez, to explore key intersections around abolition, activism, and analysis. Check it out! Here is the Zoom link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81531386078
This event is organized by There's a New Sheriff in County speaker series, which brings to the fore the powerful and often-overlooked role of the sheriff to demonstrate the importance of extending abolitionist praxis beyond city police departments.
In Case You Missed It
Dare to Lead: Strategies for Facing the Climate Challenge Head On
Couldn't tune into this conversation about climate & environmental issues this past Wednesday? We got your back. Watch the full video on our website w/ Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero and Special Guest Congresswoman Deb Haaland.
To learn more about her and her campaign, visit patricia4NM.com. You can also visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/patricia-roybal-caballero-1 to make a direct donation.
Wolves at the Well: The Corporate Grab of Public Water
on Making Contact
Water is critical to maintaining the balance of all life on Earth. As humans go, the United Nations estimates that each person needs about 50 to 100 liters a day for drinking and washing. It must be safe, accessible, and affordable. Some corporations claim ownership of fresh water sources to bottle and sell for profit. Others use water as a tool to extract oil and gas from the ground. In this episode of Making Contact, we’ll hear from communities fighting to keep big water bottling companies out of rural Oregon, and to protect water from oil and gas contamination in New Mexico.
"If the oil and gas industries don’t know where to put the produced water, they should just stop fracking."
Yang Toledo – Diné Spokesperson and Steering Committee Member, Youth United for Climate Crisis Action
Julia DeGraw – Former Northwest Organizer, Food and Water Watch
Aurora del Val – Campaign Director, Local Water Alliance
Craig Jasmer – Founding Member, Lewis County Water Alliance
Alex Brown – Local Reporter with the Chronicle covering Lewis County, during the Crystal Geyser incident
Penny Aucoin – Carlsbad-Area Resident
Rebecca Roose – New Mexico Water Protection Division Director
Nathan Small – New Mexico State Representative
Rebecca Sobel – Senior Organizer, WildEarth Guardians
Updates on this Past Week's Hearings
Final Rule from the Oil Conservation Division on "Produced Water"! The revised rule has been finalized. On 9/3 the OCD released the new rule. Here are some criticisms from our partners at New Energy Economy. 1. Two experts from the Sierra Club testified that it is a legal fiction to make a distinction between the regulation of produced water “inside vs. outside” the oil field and raised the flow line explosion carrying “produced water” and crude oil that showered the Aucoin/George family as an example of the arbitrariness of the rule-making’s attempt to draw such an imaginary boundary 2. The failure of state agencies to oversee and enforce existing regulations to address the large number of and continuous releases and discharges of toxic waste, including illegal dumping 3. While NMED’s witness testified that “produced water” will not be allowed off of the oil field documents obtained by New Energy Economy indicate there will be "pilot projects" allowed to do just that. In fact this rule allows that explicitly. ("Research using produced water is to be encouraged through pilot projects approved by the division.” 126.96.36.199 (3))
WATER AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE 9/3
The Water & Natural Resource Interim Committee of the State Legislature met this past week. They had a full agenda of briefings, watch the morning session here or the afternoon session here. In their workplan for the interim you can see they have a lot to cover hopefully in the interest of New Mexicans.
RADIOACTIVE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS COMMITTEE 9/9
They had a full agenda of briefings, some of the most important from community members and groups who have been sounding the alarm for decades on LANL, nuclear waste and the extractive industry. You can watch the morning session here or the afternoon session here. Their next meeting with be October 21.
FILL OUT THE CENSUS 2020 - deadline moved to Sept 30!!!
The deadline is around the corner & the Trump administration moved the deadline for the Census up a month. This means that our communities in the state have much less time to get it filled out or filled out with the aid of Census Takers.
Billions of federal dollars are distributed to states based on the Census? Our communities receive about $3,700 for every New Mexican that is accounted for in the Census. An undercount of just 1% could cost us $780 million dollars which provides money for schools, food programs, programs for the elderly & more! Fill it out today!
WE GOTTA VOTE!
2020 General Elections are coming up! Get a head start in getting an absentee ballot - GO HERE! Remember, you can drop it off at the County Clerk's office & open polling sites.
Registered voters should be getting an application in the mail, but if your address has changed since registering you may not get a ballot.
P.S. YUCCA Action will be actively promoting the NM seats open in our local races! Stay tuned....