Gas company explains cause of shortage

From - by Jeremy Jojola, KOB Eyewitness News 4; Charlie Pabst, - New Mexico Gas Company is speaking for the first time about why tens of thousands of New Mexicans have no natural gas service. The company blames supply and demand, and a lack of pressure to push the gas through the pipelines. Power blackouts in Texas have cut off power to compressors in West Texas that feed gas into New Mexico. With the low pressure and high demand for natural gas, the gas utility says it's impossible to supply everyone. Up to 24,000 customers across the state are doing without natural gas. We asked New Mexico Gas Company why those compressors in Texas don't have emergency generators. Ken Oostman, Vice President of Technical Services for New Mexico Gas company said Thursday, "Some do and some don't. I can't really comment on all of our upstream suppler situations." Those compressors do not belong to New Mexico Gas Company—they belong to other suppliers. Read more

Swickard Commentary - The answer is government. What is the question?

by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. -

“Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.” – P.J. O’Rourke

The mantra for the last half of the 20th century: The answer is government. Few of us were alive back when that was not so. Our government attempts to be all things to all people in all ways and at all times. This is what many people want to hear: The answer is government. The notion is that our government knows what it is doing economically when it borrows money from China so it can send some of the borrowed money back to China as foreign aid. Does it make any sense that about half of everything being spent by the national government is borrowed with no plan to pay any of it back? Who has no plan whatsoever to ever pay back the borrowed money? The answer is government. Read more


On This Day In New Mexico History -

On this day in New Mexico History - February 4, 1864 – What would come to be called the Long Walks started in January 1864. On this day in New Mexico History bands of Navajo led by the Army from their traditional lands in eastern Arizona Territory and western New Mexico Territory started to arrive at Fort Sumner in the Pecos River Valley. The area was called the Bosque Redondo, means "round grove of trees" in the Spanish language. Between 8,000 and 9,000 people were settled on an area of 40 square miles with a peak population of 9,022 by the spring of 1865. Bosque Redondo had serious problems. About 400 Mescalero Apaches were placed there before the Navajos. The Mescaleros and the Navajo had a long tradition of raiding each other; the two tribes had many disputes during their encampment. Furthermore, the initial plan was for around 5,000 people, certainly not 10,000 men, women and children. Water and firewood were major issues from the start; the water was brackish and the round grove of trees was quite small. In 1865 Navajo began leaving. By 1867 the remaining Navajo refused to plant a crop. The Treaty of Bosque Redondo between the United States and many of the Navajo leaders was concluded at Ft. Sumner on June 1, 1868. On June 18, 1868, the once-scattered bands of people set off together on the return journey, the "Long Walk" home. This is one of the few instances where the U.S. government relocated a tribe to their traditional boundaries.

Martinez Declares State of Emergency

Newnm note (Spence) Amazingly record cold temperatures hit the state as global energy advocates continue to demand rules that will crimp energy supplies. It is House Energy Committee Chair Brian Egolf who needs to turn down his thermostat while he reads this emergency declaration, rather than those with sense enough to understand the fundamental importance of having access to energy. SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez announced today that she has signed two Executive Orders in response to extreme cold weather and natural gas outages across the state and outlined a few steps that New Mexicans can take to help in the response to current situations. The Governor has declared a State of Emergency in New Mexico and has also suspended regulations on the number of hours that propane suppliers may drive in order to more rapidly move liquid petroleum gas into and across the state.
In addition, Governor Martinez released from work all non-essential state employees today and ordered all state buildings to turn down thermostats to conserve energy. She also urged New Mexicans to limit their use of electrical appliances and also turn down their thermostats to collectively reduce the demand for natural gas. The Governor noted that increased use of electricity has the potential to further inhibit the flow of natural gas to communities in New Mexico. New Mexicans who are not facing emergencies but who need assistance in dealing with the cold weather or in finding the nearest shelter should call local police and fire department non-emergency phone numbers.


Senator Griego Calls for Film Subsidy Study

Eric Griego
Santa Fe, NM- With more than eleven thousand New Mexicans drawing a paycheck either directly or indirectly from the film industry, lawmakers feel more study must be done before the State's Film Tax Credits are abandoned. San Jose Senator, Phil A. Griego (D-Los Alamos, Mora, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos-39) just introduced a proposal to look at the impact the state's Film Tax Credit has on New Mexico workers. Senate Joint Memorial 15 asks the New Mexico Legislative Council to appoint an interim Film Investment Committee to review and analyze the state's Film Tax Credit. The Committee will look at the advantages and disadvantages and recommend legislation for any policy changes. "Let's hold off before we do anything and really study the issue, said Sen. Griego, "then make a determination, number one, whether 25 percent is too much and we have to go back to 15 percent."
The Senator says we need to look at whether the tax credit has had a positive or negative effect in New Mexico and whether we should even keep it at all. "We are not going to know those things until we have a full and complete study," said the Senator. Sen. Griego hopes with the committee, the Governor and Legislature can work together to study the effects of the Film Tax Credit and "where we are going." Senator Griego said many of his constituents have praised the Film Tax Credit for helping the state's economy, "I've heard from small businesses that have done well in working with the film credits. You've got travel agencies, caterers, car rental people, grocery stores, lumber stores.
The Film Industry has helped the state's construction industry, said Sen. Griego, hiring people to build and take down sets, as well as electrical, plumbing guys. I think what we're going to find is that this film credit has had a very positive effect on New Mexico," said Griego. Senator Griego also says we also have to consider schools including both community colleges and charter schools that have created curricula to train people as producers, directors, and stage crafts workers. "I think we need to work with the industry to come up with a plan to as to how to continue film work in the state flowing, that is not only going to satisfy the state but satisfy the industry." The Senator said states across the country are pulling back on their film credit programs because of the economy, but what we want to do, is we want to lead the pack in attracting the film industry and then make a determination as to where we've got to go."


Sustainable Growth Part 2 of 3

Jim Harbison
This editorial is based on an article from the American Policy Center. ---Sustainable Development calls for changing the very infrastructure of the nation, away from private ownership and control of property through central planning of the entire economy. Truly, it is designed to change our entire way of life. It is a form of wealth redistribution and those who subscribe to this philosophy are known as Sustainablists. Social justice is a major premise of Sustainable Development and is the process by which America is being reorganized around a central principle of state collectivism using the environment as the “driver.”
Its three major tenets are Social Equity, Environment Prosperity, and Ecological Integrity. Social Equity is based on the principle that individuals must give up selfish wants for the needs of the “community” common good. Sustainable Development advocates believe borders are unjust and encourage policies to eliminate our nation’s borders in order to allow the uncontrolled “migration” from other nations into the United States to share our individually created wealth and our taxpayers funded government social programs.Furthermore, property and businesses are to be kept in the name of the owner so that they are responsible for taxes and expenses; however control over them is in the hands of the “community.” How does this differ from Communism? Read rest of column here:


Hamilton Introduces Voter I.D. Bill

Dianne Hamilton
NewsNM note - Representative Dianne Hamilton will appear as our guest at 8:00am Thursday morning - Santa Fe – The effort to bring more integrity to New Mexico’s elections began on Wednesday as Rep. Dianne Hamilton (Silver City, Dist. 38) introduced her Voter ID bill with bipartisan support. HB 308 would require voters to show picture identification, issued by either the state or federal government, in order to cast a ballot. “For too long New Mexican’s have demanded this simple request for more honesty in elections and those in the Roundhouse haven’t listened,” said Rep. Hamilton. The bill would allow a voter to use a state issued (or federal issued) ID card that could include a drivers license or passport as proof of identification at the polls. “This is the response to the overwhelming call by New Mexicans for more integrity in our elections,” says Rep. Hamilton. The bill calls for certain exceptions for those from tribal lands and also provides free identification cards from the state for those who cannot afford them. This is the third year that Rep. Hamilton has introduced the Voter ID bill. Despite massive public support, Democrat controlled committees have never passed the bill on the full House for debate.

Share/Bookmark Martinez Undecided on Anthony Casino - Gov. Susana Martinez says she’s skeptical of a proposal to build an off-reservation casino in Anthony, but that doesn’t mean she’s decided to oppose it. “I’m not convinced that it’s the best thing to do right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be convinced,” Martinez told on Tuesday. requested the interview to seek clarification on Martinez’s stance. That’s because she was quoted by the Las Cruces Sun-News as saying she doesn’t support the casino proposal but is hoping the federal government will make the decision on whether to allow it. Read full story here:

Better Late Than NEVER, Does Jeff Bingaman Finally Get It On Nuclear Energy?

Capitol Report New Mexico - Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico) has scored some points from opposite ends of the policial spectrum this week by coming out in favor of including nuclear power as part of “clean energy technologies. Bingaman, who is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a speech Monday (Jan. 31) that he supports President Obama’s call for the US to produce 80 of its electricity from sources such as wind, solar, “clean” coal and nuclear energy by 2035. That’s welcome news to the White House and led to Bingaman meeting personally with the president Wednesday (Feb. 2) but Bingaman’s announcement has also been applauded by Republican members of the New Mexico statehouse delegation, who have long called for expanding nuclear energy technology.
The speech, which was made at the Washington DC left-of-center think tank NDN, drew attention because in the past, Bingaman had said he didn’t consider nuclear power to be part of a renewable energy standard for generating electricity. Many environmentalists say that due to concern over what to do with waste from spent fuel, the nuclear industry should not be considered a “clean” technology. Here’s part of what Bingaman said Monday: Read full story here:


Have Anti-Coal and Anti Nuclear Energy Polices Resulted in Rolling Blackouts That Threaten Lives?

Las Cruces Sun-News - LAS CRUCES - After a day of record-cold weather, a layer of snowfall that has since turned slushy and a series of rolling power outages attributed to a demand overload, you're probably wondering what's next. Do your kids have school today? Can you expect city offices to be open for business? Are road closures planned? El Paso Electric Co. officials appealed Wednesday afternoon to schools and local governments, asking them to remain closed today to help relieve an expected electricity shortage, thanks to cold weather that was likely to continue. Following the appeal, several entities announced decisions to extend their closures through today.
Others said they won't make that determination until this morning, possibly as early as 5 a.m. Here's a look at what to expect. El Paso Electric Co. The electric company is anticipating rolling outages to continue today as it works to bring two power plants back online, said Teresa Souza, El Paso Electric Co. spokeswoman. "We're encouraging customers to continue curtailing their usage," she said. The company's Rio Grande and Newman power-generation plants were down Wednesday evening. There was not an estimate about when they'd be restored, but the company is seeking electricity from outside sources, she said. "When our demand exceeds our generation capacity, that's when we have to shut certain parts of our system down to prevent the system from shutting down altogether," Souza said. Read full story here: