The Solyndra Debacle Continues

Obama - "Companies Like Solyndra Are Leading the Way"
The head of a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee investigating the collapse of solar panel maker Solyndra said Friday that tapes showing company workers destroying inventory were “an outrage.”
“First we learn of the ridiculous request for $500,000 in Solyndra bonuses. Now we find out that these employees are apparently destroying millions of dollars worth of equipment,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican and chairman of the committee’s investigations panel.
Mr. Stearns‘ remarks came in response to a report by CBS 5 of San Francisco showing company workers unwrapping glass tubes used in solar panels and throwing them into Dumpsters. The report cited court documents saying the company had gotten permission to abandon high grade glass because the cost of storing it exceeded its value. Read rest of story here and watch the video of the destruction here: News New Mexico

"Liberal McCarthyism"


Rejected by Obama, Canada Will Work with China

Stephen Harper
Bloomberg - President Barack Obama’s decision yesterday to reject a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline may prompt Canada to turn to China for oil exports. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a telephone call yesterday, told Obama “Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office. Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s “financial security.”
The “decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.
Currently, 99 percent of Canada’s crude exports go to the U.S., a figure that Harper wants to reduce in his bid to make Canada a “superpower” in global energy markets.
Air Pollution in Beijing, China
Canada accounts for more than 90 percent of all proven reserves outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to data compiled in the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Most of Canada’s crude is produced from oil-sands deposits in the landlocked province of Alberta, where output is expected to double over the next eight years, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Chihuahua Border Violence Worse Than Afghanistan

CNSNews – Organized crime-related deaths in one Mexican border state during the first nine months of 2011 exceed the number of Afghan civilians killed in roughly the same period in all of war-torn Afghanistan.
According to the Mexican government, from January through September 2011 2,276 deaths were recorded in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico. A Nov. 2011 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report states that over nearly the same period – January through October 2011 – 2,177 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, where a U.S.-led war against the Taliban is underway. It did not provide a breakdown of responsibility for that period, but said that in 2010, 75 percent of civilian deaths were attributed to the Taliban and other “anti-government elements.” Read full story here: News New Mexico

New Mexico Watchdog: Following the MONEY

New Mexico Watchdog - It’s a threat so dire, protesters seized city parks throughout the nation. In their view, corporate spending holds too much sway in U.S. politics. Protesters chant Occupy slogans for myriad reasons, but the populist movement by its very name challenges the role of big money in politics. The movement’s remedies lean decidedly towards the left. More than a few elected Democrats have joined in with Occupy chorus – including Pres. Obama in a Kansas speech that highlighted the core Occupy theme about disparity of wealth and political power. In practice, Democrat office holders have been more receptive toward big money in the political process.
This year’s class of Democrats in the Roundhouse finds broad financial support among business interests – more so, in fact, than their Republican peers. Among members of the 2012 New Mexico legislature, Democrats on average accepted 20 percent more campaign contributions from big-business spenders than did the average Republican. The finding resulted from a Watchdog review of more than 17,000 campaign contributions, based on election records gathered by Read full story here: News New Mexico


Ben Ray Lujan Has a Primary Opponent

Harry Montoya
NMPolitics - Former Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya announced today that he’ll challenge U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján in the Democratic primary this year. Montoya didn’t mention Luján by name in what was to many a surprise announcement, but that doesn’t mean Montoya didn’t take any shots.
“I believe that being a Democrat means standing up for working people, for families, for children, and for the environment,” Montoya said. “… For too long, the corruption of the machine politics has been getting in the way of solving important problems in New Mexico. Today is our day, today is truly about returning democracy to the people.” Read full story here: News New Mexico


Kintigh Proposes Death Penalty Amendment to Constitution

Dennis Kintigh
Former FBI agent and Roswell House member Dennis Kintigh wants voters to decide whether the death penalty is reinstated in New Mexico. On Friday Kintigh introduced a constitutional amendment to restore the death penalty under certain circumstances, including the murder of a police officer. Kintigh will appear on News New Mexico in the 7:00am hour to explain his views on the amendment.
The death penalty was abolished in New Mexico back in 2009, and replaced with life in prison sentences without the possibility of parole.


Duvall Headed for Los Alamos National Lab

Susana Martinez
SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez announced yesterday that Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Secretary Michael Duvall has accepted a position with the National Nuclear Security Administration as Assistant Manager for Safeguards and Security at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Site Office. Duvall will leave his post as DHSEM cabinet secretary effective January 29th to transition to his new position overseeing security and safety operations for one of the nation’s most sensitive facilities. Duvall was appointed to his DHSEM position by then Governor-elect Martinez in December 2010 and has served as New Mexico’s top emergency management official since January 1, 2011, overseeing the state’s responses to significant crises such as last winter’s cold freeze and natural gas outage, as well as last year’s record-setting fire season. Governor Martinez has named DHSEM Deputy Secretary Greg Myers to serve as acting secretary while the administration conducts its search for a permanent replacement.
Los Alamos National Lab
“Secretary Duvall’s service to New Mexico has been a true demonstration of leadership, judgment, and integrity,” said Governor Martinez. “Perhaps the greatest testament to his abilities is that neither last winter’s widespread gas outages or the record-breaking fire season registered a single fatality. With Secretary Duvall leading the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, I have had the highest confidence in the state’s ability to respond to any emergency and I am certain that he will enjoy similar success in his new position. I wish him the very best and I am pleased that our partners at the Los Alamos National Nuclear Security Administration's Site Office have turned to such a competent and accomplished individual to tackle their safety and security efforts.”


Noon: The human story of hydrofracing

Marita Noon
“To me, the smoke coming out of those stacks is the most beautiful sight in the world. It means there is progress being made somewhere. Somewhere, some place, someone is making progress. If there is no smoke coming out, we look at it as trouble.” Joe Bulich, third generation farmer in New York’s Hudson Valley, recounted the words his father Frank Bulich said in response to a question from a National Geographic reporter regarding the cement plants that could be seen on the river. She viewed them as an eyesore, Joe’s father had a different perspective. Reflecting on that conversation from the mid 90s, Joe says, “That’s why we are where we’re at.”
Today, the people, who think of themselves as progressives, are actually against progress.
Joe knows what he is talking about. His grandfather came to America from Croatia. He worked in the cement plants that used to line the Hudson River. From that hard work, Joe’s grandfather was able to give his family a start; they were able to purchase and own land and develop that land in agriculture. The family farmed mushrooms; one of forty farms once in the area. Now, three generations later, the Bulich farm is the last commercial mushroom farm. Their mushrooms are sold throughout the state of New York—served in fine restaurants in the city.
The farm had a rough start as crop after crop failed. Joe’s father Frank heard about a piece of equipment—a new innovation—that might save their farm. He was a young man when he went to Pennsylvania, bought a steam-generating vessel called a steam boiler, and ultimately grew the first successful crop. The Bulich family understands the value of new technology. It saved their farm.
Last year, Hank Ferris shut down his farm in the southern tier of New York. He reports that for the past few years, he’s lost money left and right. He thought: “Someday things will get better.” He is now hauling water for a gas company across the state line in Pennsylvania.
Julie Lewis and her husband raise free-range chickens. She also works as a photographer and a substitute teacher—and she serves as a local legislator. Her husband drives a gas truck in Pennsylvania. Even then, they are struggling to get by. Because of the presence of natural gas believed to be on their property, their taxes have gone up and their annual tax payments are now more than their mortgage. While speculation drove the price up, New York’s drilling moratorium makes cashing in impossible. Her neighbors are in the same place. Julie says: “People feel hopeless.” Read rest of the column here: News New Mexico