Paul Lindsey: A Hot-Air Wind Turbine?

Commentary by Paul Lindsey, former naval nuclear officer, Wind turbines of all sizes have plenty of advocates, because the promise of electricity with zero fuel cost is very attractive. Santa Fe County has a 10 kW Bergey Excel turbine on a 120 ft tower at their Public Works Complex. The inclusion of the wind turbine at the new complex was justified by stating that it would provide 3-6.8% of the facility’s electricity. Recently, the Sierra Club endorsed Santa Fe County Commissioner Virginia Vigil for the District 3 Public Regulation Commission position. In her responses to the Sierra Club questionnaire, Ms. Vigil cited her support for the 12kw (sic) wind turbine. Now that it’s been in operation for more than two years, has the $75,000 spent by Santa Fe County been a good investment? Umm, no. The wind turbine is averaging 5780 kWh/yr. At 9 c/kWh, that’s a total annual electricity cost savings of $520, or $43.33 per month. At that rate, it will take 144 YEARS to payback the installation expense, assuming that there a no repair or maintenance costs. That is also 3-5 times the design life of the turbine, so the County would have to buy and install a new turbine (currently $32K each) at least two more times. The cost of a replacement turbine alone puts the County in a tail chase, because the payback time for $32,000 is 11 years longer than the maximum expected design life, unless the cost of electricity to Santa Fe County rises to 11 c/kWh. To payback the original $75K turbine cost (which includes the tower, installation and connection expenses) within 50 years, the cost of electricity would have to go up to 26 c/kWh! . Read column

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No Salary For APS Teacher-Legislators

Albuquerque JournalState legislators who also work for Albuquerque Public Schools will no longer receive their APS salaries for time spent serving in Santa Fe. The APS board’s policy committee voted 4-2 Tuesday evening to adopt a new board policy, which specifies that employee legislators must take unpaid leave to attend legislative sessions and interim committee meetings. The new policy must still be approved by the full board when it meets tonight, but all APS board members serve on the committee, and all attended Tuesday’s meeting. Board member David Peercy abstained because he leads the policy committee and votes only in the event of a tie. The board considered three options: One would not have allowed employees to serve in the Legislature at all, and one would have allowed them to continue serving with pay, although it would have required them to give their state per diem to APS. The option they ultimately chose — allowing employees to serve with unpaid leave — was a compromise between the two. Board member Lorenzo Garcia, who backed the compromise from the outset, said it would be bad policy for APS to pay employees for their time in Santa Fe when budgets are tight. “I strongly support the idea of a citizen Legislature,” Garcia said. “I think in these budget times, however, we cannot afford to pay somebody to be in the Legislature. And we should allow people, if they want to be in the Legislature, to do so, but not with pay.” Read More News New Mexico (Subscription)

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Senator Rand Paul endorses Greg Sowards

Rand Paul
Sen. Rand Paul today announced his endorsement of Republican Greg Sowards in the New Mexico Senate Primary. “I’m calling on conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party activists in New Mexico and across the nation to support Greg Sowards,” Paul said.  “He will stand for the Constitution and I’m proud to stand with him.  Greg supports dramatically shrinking government.  Greg supports the 5-year balanced budget proposed by myself and Senators DeMint and Lee.   He agrees that our future generations of Americans do not deserve to be enslaved by debt, and we need more champions like him in the U.S. Senate.” Paul added, “Greg realizes our problems aren’t solved in Washington, but by getting back to local governance where New Mexicans can have more control over their own lives.  Government does not create jobs… entrepreneurs like the Sowards family do. ” Sowards concluded, “I’m honored to stand with a true champion of liberty, Senator Rand Paul.  He recognizes that there is a clear choice here in New Mexico.  My opponent is a big spending, socially liberal, career politician with a tendency towards big government and I want to bring the values of everyday America back to Washington.” Sowards, who running for the open seat to replace the retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman, is a Military veteran and successful small businessman who employs 75 New Mexicans.  His opponent in the June 5th Republican Primary election is Heather Wilson. 


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Rail Runner adds express trains, ups fares

New Mexico Business WeeklyThe New Mexico Rail Runner Express is adding two express trains and quiet cars to its schedule, as well as ticketing via mobile phones. It is also implementing a new fare structure, according to the Rio Metro Transit District. Fares for one-way trips and day passes are set to increase by $1 to $2, while monthly passes will increase by $4 to $11. This is the first time the Rail Runner Express has implemented a fare increase and the changes follow meetings last fall to address a funding shortfall for the trainThe cost for the two new trains and other services will be covered by the fare increase as well as new federal clean air grant funds of about $4.8 million, said Jay Faught, marketing manager with Rio Metro. The district saved about $1.2 million by renegotiating its contract with Herzog Transit Services, which operates the Rail Runner under contract with Rio Metro. Read More News New Mexico

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Another Murder Linked to Operation Fast and Furious

From Gateway Pundit -On December 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot dead by a group of suspected drug cartel along the Mexican border in Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales, Arizona. The guns used to kill Brian Terry were traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. In September 2011 the Attorney General of Mexico confirmed 200 murders happened in Mexico as a direct result of Operation Fast and Furious. Now another murder connected to Operation Fast and Furious has surfaced. According to a congressional report released, Mario Gonz√°lez Rodr√≠guez, brother of the state attorney general of Chihuahua at the time, was also murdered by guns traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. The U.S. withheld this information from Mexican authorities for eight months.  Read more here.
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Horse racing industry backs New Mexico reforms

CNBC-The horse racing industry Wednesday lined up behind a proposal to adopt tougher oversight and penalties at New Mexico's tracks, which were recently identified as having the worst safety record in the nation. Horse and track owners and a jockey's union were among those who spoke in support of a New Mexico Racing Commission proposal to adopt model regulations developed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. No one spoke against the reforms. The meeting Wednesday focused on penalties and restrictions for the illegal doping of horses, but Commission Chairman Rob Doughty said it is just " the first step in a long series of reforms" the commission would like to make "to send a message that the state of New Mexico does not allow cheaters." The move comes after a New York Times story described New Mexico as having the worst horse safety record in the United States. The report blamed lax regulations for New Mexico's poor record. Laura Bonar, program director for Animal Protection of New Mexico, said the proposal is a good first step, but emphasized changed needs to be implemented quickly to address what she described as horrific and chronic issues with safety and integrity at the tracks. Read More News New Mexico

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N.M. tightening concealed carry policy

KRQECarrying a concealed weapon in New Mexico comes with a long list of requirements. You need to be 21, a U.S. citizen, pass a criminal background check and be properly trained to use the weapon safely. "I believe New Mexico has a really strong concealed carry law," said Gorden Eden, the Department of Public Safety cabinet secretary. "Some states don't." Not every state has all of those requirements. Alabama, for example, doesn't have a mandatory fingerprint-based criminal background check. Montana and several other states give licenses to those who are 18 and older, instead of 21. Texas, Colorado and Arizona issue concealed permits to resident aliens.  According to state law, New Mexico can only accept concealed weapons permits from states that are "at least as stringent and substantially similar" to New Mexico's own licensing laws. Although New Mexico accepts permits from and has agreements with 19 other states, only six states actually meet the legal requirement: Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Included in the other 13 states are neighbors Texas, Colorado and Arizona, but DPS says current agreements to accept permits from those states are still valid. Read More News New Mexico

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Susana PAC actively fighting opponents

Susana Martinez 
Update: We have received criticism for posting this press release in its entirety. We appreciate those visiting our site and agree with the criticisms. We have edited this post to remove the fundraising sentences. For the record, we have never received a dime of advertising support from this PAC. Below is the statement minus the funraising sentences:
Recently, it was reported that a single national labor union has already spent almost $200,000 attacking me and our agenda in just the past few months. Another radical left-wing group funded by national liberals is secretly spending big sums of money, as well. Now, these groups are promising to focus their attention on conservative candidates for the state legislature. I formed Susana-PAC to help promote our agenda and elect more Republicans to office. And we've made great progress. We took on the culture of entitlement and waste by the powerful and got rid ofexpensive government perks like private jets and chefs. We balanced the budget in our very first year by cutting spending and without raising taxes. This year, we cut taxes for small businesses by over $100 million to help create jobs.We ended the dangerous "sanctuary" policy for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. We instituted reforms to stop corruption and get the lobbyists hands out of the state cookie jar. We are creating a business-friendly climate and Forbes magazine recently ranked New Mexico #4 in potential job growth. And, our education reform initiatives have led to New Mexico being one of only eleven states in the country to receive a waiver that frees us from federalregulations. These victories, and many others, occurred because of your strong support. But success, as they say, does not come without a price. And the price for our success is the anger of liberal politicians and special interests threatened by our reforms and desperate to get back the power they lost. National left-wing groups are going to spend a massive amount of money this year to block our reforms, including our efforts to repeal the law that gives driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. But with your help, we can level the playing field and continue to move New Mexico forward. One national union has already spent $190,000 attacking me and my agenda. They are now promising to turn their sights on conservative candidates running for the legislature.
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