On This Day In New Mexico History - February 7

On this day in New Mexico history February 7, 1892 – famous inventor Thomas Edison came to New Mexico at this time in 1892 to invent a way of extracting gold without using water. This was the challenge given him. He was able to do so in the Ortiz Mountains near Santa Fe but the mining venture was never commercially viable. Edison shut the entire venture down seven years later. The interesting thing is that while it found some gold, it was not until generations later that students from the New Mexico school of Mines in running the tailings found that the Edison mine has lots of Tungsten but at the time this was not what he was looking for.

Talk is Cheap

Jeff Bingaman
Once again while serving as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Senator Jeff Bingaman continued to offer observers a tangled web of contradictions. This week Bingaman pointed to rising tensions in Egypt as a reason to spur action on reducing foreign oil imports. He also sent off a few signals that he now favors clearing the way for nuclear power projects. “Fortunately, it currently appears unlikely that the political turmoil will result in any disruption in oil production or transportation,” Bingaman said. “However, I note that whenever geopolitical events remind us of our vulnerability to world oil supply disruptions, it is a spur to consider energy policies that help us reduce that vulnerability.”
Bingaman is an astute politician not an energy policy problem solver. He merely talks a good game before the light of the cameras when global events suggest the spotlight might start to shine on the intransigence of his committee’s stranglehold on all forms of viable domestic energy production. A mere cursory glance at votes cast by Senator Bingaman tells a much different and far more disturbing story about his attitude towards solving America’s energy problems than what he says.
Bingaman’s votes provide sufficient evidence that the senator favors anything except additional oil and nuclear energy production in America. Let’s look at some of the votes Jeff Bingaman has cast over the years. Bingaman voted YES on requiring full Senate debate and vote on the notorious cap-and-trade proposal. The senator voted YES on addressing CO2 emissions in the United States without considering the CO2 emissions of India or China. Bingaman voted YES on factoring global warming into all federal project planning. And of course Bingaman has repeatedly voted YES to keeping every barrier in place that disallows an oil leasing program in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, even the tiny portion of land that alternates between a mosquito infested swamp and bitterly cold frozen plain.
Senator Bingaman has also voted NO on approving a nuclear waste repository, specifically approving the interim nuclear waste repository located at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Without an integrated management system for storage and permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, a conversion to nuclear energy in the U.S. is virtually impossible. Bingaman even voted NO to a proposal that would promise to protect middle-income taxpayers from a national energy tax.
This week there were record low temperatures in New Mexico. There were also shortages of all forms of energy that caused rolling blackouts resulting in the closing of schools and businesses all over our state. Naturally, while people were home and bundled up in blankets, it was not surprising to see that Senator Bingaman wanted to show how attentive he is to our energy needs. It was a shell game. It is best to watch how he casts his precious votes instead of assigning any credibility to the platitudes of empathy he tossed in the direction of the shivering voters he represents.


Carlsbad: Storing Defense Dept. Waste

Santa Fe New Mexican - The Carlsbad community in southeastern New Mexico is admittedly attracted to nuclear waste. When it was virtually the only community in the country willing to host the nation's first nuclear waste repository almost 40 years ago, that interest may have seemed a little desperate. Now that the federal government has canceled plans for its primary geological repository at Yucca Mountain, and now that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is still the only operating geological repository in the world, WIPP's supporters in Carlsbad are calling their decision a success story and looking at opportunities for taking it to the next level. Read full story here:

Progressive: Defending the Muslim Brotherhood

Progressive - Much commentary in the United States has attempted to liken the current Egyptian revolution to that of Iran in 1979. Alleged experts on CNN, FOX News and other major outlets have linked the Muslim Brotherhood to anti-Americanism and terrorist activity in fomenting fear among the average American.
These individuals are missing the realities on the ground. Commentators continue to paint the Muslim Brotherhood -- Egypt's largest and most organized political force -- as a firebrand radical conservative Islamist movement with a goal of forcing religion on others and achieving world domination based in Islamic law. It is allegedly a group in favor of censorship, repression, anti- Americanism and anti-women. The group is much more complex than these assumptions argue. Read full column here:


Hill: California is an Addict

Austin Hill
Townhall - "Hi, I’m California, And I’m Addicted to Spending…" What a magnificent confession this would be, if only we could hear it collectively from our 31st state. Imagine -California emerges from its’ state of denial, and admits that it is addicted to government spending. And then, after acknowledging its’ addiction, envision the government of California coming to believe that a power greater than itself (the private sector) could restore its’ sanity, and then turning itself over to the care of that greater power, and, in so doing, checking itself into “rehab.” Psychobabble and twelve-step metaphors can only go so far. But in all seriousness, our “friend” California has a very severe problem with spending, yet remains in denial. And there’s no indication that California will stop “using” anytime soon. Read full column here:

Digging Out of the Low Energy Mess

Governor Martinez
SANTA FE – In cooperation with Espanola Mayor Alice Lucero and Taos Mayor Darren Cordova, Governor Susana Martinez announced today that approximately 50 members of the New Mexico National Guard will assist gas company technicians in their efforts to complete the process of restoring natural gas service to residents of Espanola and Taos tomorrow. “The National Guard will greet homeowners and business owners, letting them know that gas company technicians are in their area, and will work with residents to ensure a clear, accessible path to gas meters, furnaces, and appliances,” Governor Martinez said. Throughout the day today, natural gas meters have been fully shut off, the gas lines have been purged, and re-lighting is either underway or has been completed in the following communities: Red River, Questa, Bernalillo, Placitas, Alamogordo, Tularosa, La Luz and Silver City. The purging process is nearly complete in Taos and underway in Espanola, with re-lighting expected to begin in Taos and Espanola this evening. To date, there have been few reports of failed inspections during the re-lighting process. Residents of Taos and Espanola, in particular, are encouraged to remain close to their homes throughout the day tomorrow and remove any debris, snow, or other items that might be placed near gas meters, furnaces and appliances.
Over 400 utility employees, fire fighters, plumbers and pipefitters are working throughout the affected communities to restore natural gas and will continue their work late into the evening tonight. Governor Martinez has also announced that plumbers and pipefitters who sign up to help restore natural gas service in New Mexico will be exempt from certain unemployment rules. “Those who are answering the call to assist New Mexicans in regaining their heating will not be inhibited from receiving future unemployment benefits,” she said. If any licensed plumber or pipefitter would like to work tonight or tomorrow to help in this effort, they are encouraged to call 505-798-3317. Residents and business owners who are not present when gas company technicians arrive will have a tag placed on their doors with instructions on how to contact the gas company for a return visit.
“If any New Mexican is unsure about whether someone approaching their door is a licensed technician, they can call 1-888-664-2726 to have the identity and credentials of the individual verified,” Governor Martinez continued. Fire safety and pipe thawing tips are available on the Governor’s website at www.gov.state.nm.us and on the website of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management at www.nmdhsem.org. Emergency shelters will continue to be in place this evening, and a list of shelters can be found at either of these websites as well. “To the people of New Mexico: I am thankful for your patience, and for the grace with which you have banded together to support and look after one another during this challenging time,” Governor Martinez concluded.


Saunders: Tracking Evergreen Solar and Solyndra

Debra Saunders
Townhall - Debra Saunders - After receiving at least $43 million in aid from the state of Massachusetts, Evergreen Solar announced last month that it would be closing its manufacturing plant in Devens, Mass., laying off its 800 workers and moving its manufacturing operations to China. Warning: These are the "green jobs" that President Obama has touted as part of his "winning the future" agenda. The problem isn't that Obama wants to direct federal dollars toward research for alternative energy. It is in the national interest to have affordable options when oil sources are depleted. The problem is that Obama thinks that green jobs are the answer to the anemic economy recovery. And he clings to that belief in the face of contrary evidence. Last May, the president came to solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra in Fremont, Calif., to celebrate a new plant -- creating 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent workers. President Obama exclaimed, "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra." Within months, Solyndra, which has yet to turn a profit, announced that it was canceling the expansion. Read full column here:

Reagan's Boyhood Home in Limbo

Ronald Reagan
Washington Times - Nearly a decade after Congress told the National Park Service to try to buy Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home, the plan remains in limbo — the victim of a budget dispute and of the former president’s own limited-government philosophy. The Dixon, Ill., house is one of a number of places where the country’s 40th president lived when he called the small town on the Rock River, 100 miles from Chicago, his home from 1920 through 1933. But it’s the one that has been preserved for the past three decades by a nonprofit foundation as the official boyhood home, and it’s also the most likely candidate for the Park Service to incorporate. Or it would be, if Reagan — whose 100th birthday Sunday will kick off a yearlong national commemoration of the nation’s 40th president — hadn’t preached a limited-government, free-market philosophy that his supporters say makes a government takeover unthinkable. Read full story: