A Week In Review, An Urgent Action Call on the State of Fracking in NM and Thoughts on Bipartisanship from a Reader & My Response

Plus, info on National Popular Vote, last day to comment on plan to double fracking in San Juan and Rio Arriba Counties, and a readers’ comment on bipartisanship. Plus, is our practice on Monday, a look forward to what will be reported and a look back over the past week, with summaries  and links for all the week’s blogs.

Raise Your Voice Against Increased Fracking in Northern NM

New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission Hearing at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19 at Porter Hall, 1st floor, Wendell Chino Building, 1220 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, to speak out  against efforts to double the number of fracking operations in Rio Arriba and San Juan counties. The deadline for comments is Monday, November 19th, 2018. Please share this ‘Call to Action Alert’ as widely as you can. Link to more about the hearing, speaking points, and how to email comments are below, but, if you need more motivation to write to the Commission or to testify, review this quote from this morning’s Santa Fe New Mexican:

CARLSBAD — Wayne Smith was hardened to a certain level of chaos here, on land the American public owns. But even he was incredulous as he surveyed an area he leases for grazing, now cleared of grass and cluttered with aboveground pipelines, a drill pad for multiple wells and other oil and gas infrastructure, ‘I still pay a grazing lease right there,” Smith said in May, pointing to a government map showing there should be no more than 17 acres of development on the site instead of the 125 acres he saw in front of him. “Now, what’s my cow going to eat?’   This isn’t what’s supposed to happen on publicly owned land the federal government oversees. The Bureau of Land Management can lease the same property to more than one party at once, but if New Mexico ranchers request it — as Smith did — the agency has instructed its field offices to contact them before such a buildup occurs. Smith said no one notified him. The BLM declined to comment on the matter.”

The article goes on to describe that the BLM:

  • has nowhere near the staffing to monitor or enforce regulations protecting the land, such as they are;
  • has allowed a record breaking level of oil lease sales: $972 M, just in September (couldn’t some of that go for oversight?)
  • has leadership that has expressly stated that their goal is to be good business partners with gas and oil;

Ranchers cited in the article claim that the entire grazing industry is being threatened, that BLM can’t or won’t address their concerns and, that the most biologically diverse desert in the world is also in danger of ecological collapse, with drilling inching ever closer to Carlsbad Caverns, a National Park and UN Designated World Heritage site.  Click here to review the entire shocking article from today’s New Mexican as it includes much more detail on the frightening degree to which the gas and oil industries and its interests are running absolutely rampant, ignoring any semblance of respect for nature, and threatening the entire way of life in southwest NM, not to mention Chaco Canyon, Rio Arriba, and San Juan counties. Now, todays NM Oil Conservation Commission haring to descide whether to double fracking in Northern NM.  Raise your voice today, pleaseClick here to find out how to provide written comment and to get speaking points and more background info on this critical issue.

Support the National Popular Vote Initiative

As you may know, the national League of Women Voters has supported the National Popular Vote for a long time and recently made it a national priority. Here in New Mexico, the primary online resource for the National Popular Vote remains the National Popular Vote-New Mexico website, which was created by Santa Fe-based “New Mexico Indivisibles for the National Popular Vote” in conjunction with the “National Popular Vote Coalition of New Mexico.”
Passing the National Popular Vote in NM and in 2019 is one of Retake Our Democracy’s legislative priorities. As we go forward, please continue to take advantage of the National Popular Vote-New Mexico site’s information and action steps on an ongoing basis and help spread the word: www.nationalpopularvotenm.org
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2016, Trump won the electoral college vote while losing the popular vote by over 2%. If the National Popular Vote had been in place, Trump would NOT be our president.

Because of these state winner-take-all statutes, presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern to voters in states where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion. As shown on the map, two-thirds of the 2012 general-election campaign events (176 of 253) were in just 4 states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa). Thirty-eight states were ignored.

State winner-take-all statutes adversely affect governance. “Battleground” states (shaded at left) receive 7% more federal grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions. Put simply, if your state trends strongly toward one part or the other, politicians can ignore your concerns and focus their energy and promises on the battleground states. And, of course, what is worse is that we can elect a Trump.


Comment from Post on Bipartisanship

From Mick, one of our supporters

Hi Paul and Roxanne. The road to Perdition is paved with good intentions. It is no secret that the roots of bipartisanship mythology are rooted in the Protestant Reformation, when Luther could not make any headway with the Catholics in his quest to reverse the trending socialism of his day. It is truly tragic to witness what followed – tyranny against peasantry, Cromwell, Puritanism, the rise of the ownership of property, slavery as a methodology to instill racism/classism as the just reward for adhering to the rights of the ‘taker’ class.

There really is no such thing as bipartisan. The word itself implies that differing mindsets get to work cooperatively toward a shared goal, and that goal has a ubiquitous outcome if dispatched with justice (the balanced scale versus five for me and one for you.) Bipartisanship is and has been an institutionalized gimmick of bullying and oppression, something just short of violence that still gets one side what they want at the great expense of the other.

To be bipartisan is to be pragmatic, sensible, fair-minded, in short, all the dog whistles used by the takers to shame the givers into accepting their status as less knowing, less needing, less deserving, less worthy.

This is how democratic behavior has been semantically nudged further and further toward autocracy for many decades, if not centuries. Two words can easily sum up the essence of bipartisanship – con job.

But note, there is ‘always’ the threat or use of force lurking behind the con job. And really, this is how a bipolar society works. Reason, logic, peaceful and sustainable outcomes, cooperative interplay, true justice, all fail, not because they are inferior. It is precisely because they are superior that they must be destroyed. If one accepts those things as important, one is not a taker, and therefore weak, and undeserving of reward.

I am with you 1000 percent. The shared goals of diversity make ultimate sense, and to fall for the con job of phony cooperation with the takers is a grave error. We must ‘fight’ like hell for peace and sustainability, as oxymoronic as that may sound, because it is not a contradiction. Biologic life on Earth has persisted for more than a billion years, not from the dominance of monolithic behavior, but from the hard fought battles to diversify and dilute the appetites of the taker mentality. All that has been gained for so long is hanging by a thread.

My Response.  Very nicely framed, Mick, as usual. I was impressed to read that Ocasio Cortez has aligned with a young enviro activist organization to advocate with some ferocity on climate change in the Congress and to stop pretending that this is just “an issue.” It is survival and we are in this mess because of the myopic pursuit of profit and growth at any expense that is capitalism and the exploitation of Indigenous peoples worldwide, which is colonialism and racism. We need to pivot completely from these ideologies if we are ever to have a chance to creating sustainable climate balance and social justice. A goodly number of those that read this blog are not ready to completely ditch capitalism and still fear a socialist model and while socialism may not be the ultimate solution…..we may not have discovered the model we need, capitalism, colonialism and racism are the antithesis of justice.

Another supporter sent us a generous donation along with a bumper sticker worth sharing:

If the Opposite of Pro is Con, then the Opposite of Progress is Congress 

A Look Back at Last Week’s Posts & A Preview of This Week’s Posts

This week we will focus on how centrist messaging will doom the Democratic Party, how many big Democratic donors are insisting on grassroots efforts to activate low-turnout communities of color, and how California and New Mexico have effectively destroyed the GOP in these two states. You know what happened here, but what happened in CA is very interesting. Lastly, we will devote time to examining how capitalism is at the heart of the climate change crisis and economic injustice.  Below you will find summaries and links for all of last week’s posts. If you have time only for one, I recommend the first in the list from Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Roundhouse Advocacy: What We Can Achieve & How You Can Be Involved + Action Alerts on NM Private Prison for Refugees and Fracking

Tuesday, Nov. 13.  This is a crucial blog that should be shared broadly. We have an opportunity to do something special in 2019. Time to play offense in our State Legislature in NM. With anything like the energy and commitment that was garnered in the campaign, we can transform NM. No more 50th. Plus info on a hearing @ planned doubling of fracking in San Juan, plus Allegra Love on plans for refugee detention in private prisons in NM. Click here to review this very important post.

Yet Another Threat to NM Water Supply & This Time Not from LANL’s Plume, But From The Extractors

Wednesday. Nov. 14.   Once again our water is under threat, this time, not from a Chromium plume, but from a devious  plan hatched by the gas and oil industry under the ever so unvigilant gaze of the EPA and the NM Environment Department. Our new Governor must replace leadership at the help of NMED as soon as she is in office. Until then, we protest.


Thoughts on Conversation with Senator Wirth and Speaker Egolf Plus An Update on LANL and Roundhouse Planning

Thursday, Nov. 15.  Chromium plume, fracking and contaminated water, doubling of the number of fracking operations in San Juan and Rio Arriba and opportunities to voice opposition to all of these actions from home and on Friday in Santa Fe. Plus a preview of the Retake interview with Senator Wirth and Speaker Egolf on what is possible in the Roundhouse. No post makes the point more clearly that for the next two years, we will be bouncing from playing offense to defense. While we have so many opportunities at a state level gas and oil and other undemocratic forces have such a firm control in DC. Thankfully, we retook the House and have a tool with which we can obstruct and resist. Details within.   Click here to review the full post.

The Threat of Bipartisanship in the Roundhouse and Another Threat to Our Water

Saturday, Nov. 17.  The Red Nation defends their water, an opportunity to have your donation matched to the Dreamers Legal Fund, a report on the Roundhouse Advocacy Team meeting, and thoughts on why compromise and bipartisanship is likely a very bad thing with the effort to be collegial resulting in unnecessary concessions that weaken strong bills. My fear is that the effort to play nice will result in tepid bills that will disappoint the grassroots base that worked so hard to create NM’s blue wave. 

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne






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