Time for action: PRC hearing on replacement power, legislative session opening with direct actions from YUCCA and Extinction Rebellion; and a look at the past week’s posts.
Always Germane: Reflections from MLK, Jr.
Each year on this day we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., and as part of that tribute we reflect upon some of his observations. The quote above is obviously germane to our times. Sadly, we have not heeded his words and as a result, now we find our world even more threatened by materialism, racism, and the military. The quote below showed how MLK, Jr. refused to keep his advocacy to integration. He pressed hard on issues of poverty and militarism as well.
“This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love,” he warned. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”MLK, Jr.
Today, we celebrate Dr. King. The powers that be tried to paint him into a safe box, a box that was not too threatening to those power-brokers. But Dr. King refused to be contained to a safe space. He saw poverty and militarism for what they were, the inhuman consequences of colonialism and capitalism. His strident calls to address poverty and to pursue peace led to his being vilified in the media. While he was once almost as popular as Mother Teresa, by 1966 polls showed that twice as many people had unfavorable views of Dr. King as those who had favorable views. He did not back off. On the day after his first speech opposing the war in Vietnam, over 150 newspapers wrote scathing editorials about his unpatriotic act, President Johnson abandoned him, and other Democrats, black and white, turned their back on Dr. King.
And so today, we not only honor Dr. King, but also those who have been inspired by his life and who continue to pursue justice, even in the face of reprisals in the media and from others who would prefer they take a more moderate and safer path. In these times, moderation is another word for cowardice. We must press hard for bold solutions and honor those with the courage to advance them.
Looking Forward: It’s Action Time
PRC begins its hearing on replacement power plan for San Juan; legislative session begins tomorrow.
Tuesday is full of advocacy actions. In the morning, you can offer comment at the PRC to oppose PNM’s plan for replacement power — natural gas. Then you can cross Old Santa Fe Trail and head to the Roundhouse to support YUCCA and Extinction Rebellion in their direct actions. And at 6:30pm you can come to 1420 Cerrillos to be part of Retake’s Legislative Launch Meeting where we will lay out our priority bills and strategies for the 2020 session.
We offer details on Tuesday’s actions, and then let you catch up on what transpired last week with links to each of last week’s posts. Buckle up….time to kick off the Decade of Transformation with our voices raised.
PRC Public Hearing, Tuesday, Jan. 21: Arrive at 8:30 AM to sign up and get a seat….Hearing begins at 9 AM, PERA Bldg, 1120 Paseo de Peralta, across Old Santa Fe Trail from the Roundhouse. Come to testify against PNM’s dangerous proposal for a new 280-megawatt gas plant in the Four Corners region. A cadre of activists and advocacy groups tried to warn ETA (Energy Transition Act) sponsors and supporters that the ETA would allow a gas plant. We were assured it wouldn’t happen. Well now PNM is offering up one, and only one, plan for replacement power: a natural gas plant. Time to raise your voice.
Here is New Energy Economy’s analysis of PNM’s proposed scenario:
- In order to force interveners and regulators to go along with their preferred replacement power scenario, PNM cleverly manipulated the timing and procedural schedule to leave only one scenario that can actually be implemented…theirs. The alternative resource bids have literally expired as possibilities — impossible to be considered as alternative scenarios. This is against the law (as validated by the 5-0 opinion that NEE won in front of the Supreme Court).
- PNM’s 280-megawatt gas plant is sited for location at the San Juan Generating Station. The plant will provide a total of 5 permanent jobs for the area and continue to harm the health of the local community, land, air, and water.
- The gas plant would require building a gas pipeline into the area, exposing residents to risk of spill.
- The proposed plant would use 191,625 gallons of potable water and 103,005,000 gallons of other water annually.
- It would be built by “Proenergy Services, LLC,” a Missouri corporation — how is this out-of-state corporation helping local economic development?
- This gas plant is short-sighted by design. PNM has set an accelerated depreciation schedule for the plant — planning to recover the capital cost of building the plant (plus its 9.5% return on equity) by 2045 when the RPS will require 100% “carbon free” energy in New Mexico.
- While the energy from the plant won’t be serving New Mexicans past 2045 – one possibility is that PNM could continue to keep the plant operating (and polluting) and sell the gas to neighboring state markets.
- Why not invest in renewables plus storage and make a lasting contribution to our energy needs and economic benefits to host communities?
- We know that renewables plus storage out-compete fossil fuels and nuclear on price — they are also the only responsible option given the climate emergency and environmental justice crisis we face.
Legislative Session Begins
If we are going to do our share to make 2020 the decade of transformation, we need to kick off that decade with a momentous 2020 Legislative Session. On the first day, no committees meet and no bills are heard, but our voices can be heard loud and clear. Make a plan to come to the Roundhouse to support these actions and then come to the Center for Progress & Justice at 6:30 to help us strategize for the session.
Retake Our Democracy, 2020 Legislative Session Launch, Jan. 21, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, 1420 Cerrillos Rd. On opening day of the 2020 Legislative session we will present our priority bills and discuss how you can advocate at the Roundhouse & from home. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at this link.
Extinction Rebellion Direct Action at the Roundhouse
January 21, 10AM – 11:30AM at the Roundhouse. Join XR for its first public action! Also join them in their support of YUCCA’s action at 11:30, and other surprises indoors and out. It’s time to make our demand known: Declare a Climate Emergency!
1) The State of New Mexico and local media outlets need to #TELLTHETRUTH!
2) The State of New Mexico needs to #ACTNOW! – Halt biodiversity loss, net-zero by 2025
3) #BEYONDPOLITICS – Citizens’ Assemblies need to pave the way for climate and ecological justice
4) #JUSTTRANSITION – prioritize the most vulnerable people and indigenous sovereignty; establish reparations and remediation led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and poor communities.
YUCCA CALL TO ACTION
11:30AM-3:30PM at the Roundhouse for the 1st Day of the Legislative Session. YUCCA’s action will be a dramatic performance piece in front of the entrance to the Roundhouse on the Eastern Concourse. The piece is a re-enactment of an action by young people in Cologne, Germany. YUCCA’s will take place at 11:30AM at the Roundhouse. They will hold a Press Conference to cover it. That part of the action will be from 11:30AM-12:30PM.
A Look Back at Last Week’s Posts
Last week, we focused largely on the Roundhouse, a backroom compromise between Senator John Arthur Smith and the Governor, and we analyzed the bills she has “messaged” the legislature that she would like them to consider.
On Sunday, we presented a completely different kind of blog, one that provided a description of Retake goals, priorities, and strategies along with a selection of some of the “Best of Retake” posts organized by theme. This post offers a clear picture of our aspirations, our fears, and our thoughts on how we can help make 2020 a decade of transformation in NM.
MLG Compromises with Senator Smith, Signaling Tempered Expectations for 2020
Tuesday, January 14. Senator Smith had made it clear that he would not allow a significant investment in early childhood, K-12 education, or anything else he doesn’t approve of. The compromise began with MLG giving up on HJR 1 Permanent Fund for Early Childhood and signaling her approval for Senator Smith’s concept of developing a trust fund for early childhood that would make a far less significant investment. That is likely only the first of many compromises. In truth, the Senator holds all the cards. As Finance Chair, he can exercise absolute veto power and there is a reason he is known as Dr. No at the Roundhouse. We saw what he and a cadre of Democrats in Name Only (DINOs) can do if they work with Republicans to throttle Democratic priorities. Think of Community Solar, Legalization of Marijuana, and Decriminalization of Abortion to name a few. What does this mean for 2020? Click here to read the full post.
The Governor Publishes Her Call; Chris Hedges Offers His View On The Threat From the Christian Right
Thursday, January 16. This post provides the published list of the Governor’s call. While it is possible that she will add more bills to the call, we are hearing that there may not be much more. There were some stunning omissions, the most surprising being a Community Solar bill.
On Friday I met with Speaker Egolf, and with a wink and a nod, he assured me that he would be introducing something like a Community Solar bill and that it would be on the call. When pressed as to what this might look like he was mum, but I expect something related to Community Solar will be added to the call.
The post also included a searing commentary from Chris Hedges on the threat to our democracy posed by the evangelical Christian right. This is a must read. Retake has written about the threats to our democracy from money in politics and from a cowering media, but this piece is perhaps the most frightening of all. Click here to read the post.
A Most Important Task for Our Supporters
Sunday, Jan. 19. In our Sunday post, we presented a summary of Retake Our Democracy’s purpose, priorities, and strategies, and then links to a host of prior posts organized by theme. Together, they provide a kind of primer on what Retake is, our goals, our fears, our aspirations, our philosophy, and our approach. We hope you return to this periodically and review some of these important posts, as they are truly the “best of the best.” We also hope you share them with friends as, if we are to make a meaningful contribution to a decade of transformation in NM, we need many, many more informed and engaged people…your friends.
Paul & Roxanne