Our Son’s Report from Portland, Produced Water Hearing Thurs & a Look Back at a Week of Action

Today, we feature a first-hand report from our son Jesse who is protesting in Portland, along with two calls to action: TODAY with the PRC and Thursday’s Fracked Toxic Waste hearing. We also provide links to each of last week’s posts.

News In Brief: Today, we offer but one News In Brief Item, a link to a brilliant piece by Rebecca Traister in The Cut, “The Poison of Male Incivility: When a woman dares respond to it, she’s seen as “disruptive.” Women may not need to read this, although it never hurts to have all your life experiences validated so clearly. But for us guys, especially us white guys, it is a very important piece. Traister uses Rep. Yoho’s verbal abuse of AOC, his self-serving non-apology, AOC’s brilliant speech on the House floor, and the media’s coverage of all of it. Traister’s very nuanced discussion is both illuminating and affirming. And it will make you even prouder of AOC. We include her full speech on the House floor at the bottom of the post.

An Easy and Urgent Call to Action: PRC Decides On Weds
100% Renewables or Natural Gas Requiring Fracking

We have a chance to replace San Juan Coal with 100% renewables. It is cheaper, it will produce more jobs, it is much better for the planet and the PRC Hearing Examiner recommended the 100% renewable plan. No need for speaking points, just tell the PRC Commissioner that you are counting on them to rebuff PNM’s desire to include natural gas, and that you strongly support the 100% renewable plan. Call Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday July 30, 9 am. New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD) will host a Hearing on Regulations to Govern Produced Water (AKA, Produced Toxic Waste). We need a huge Zoom turnout. Read On.

OCD did not go through a pre-hearing stakeholder process and the proposed rules lack necessary safety and permitting protocols, and do not contain any environmental or public health standards that would safeguard communities and clean water against contamination from leaks, spills, and discharges of this toxic waste.

The Hearing is the first of New Mexico’s regulatory efforts to pass off toxic and radioactive oil and gas toxic waste as “produced water”. The OCD proposal according to WildEarth Guardians would make it easier for companies to use their toxic waste to drill and frack wells. The new rules would even open the door for the industry’s waste to be dumped on roads, agricultural lands, and discharged into streams.

If the rules go forward as is, they would set a dangerous precedent for New Mexico and the nation in undermining the severity of oil and gas waste management.

We can’t let that happen! Many of you joined YUCCA for their action at the Environment & Energy & Natural Resource Department’s public meeting about toxic fracking waste last year — we need to keep the pressure up!

YUCCA’s goal is to get 50 community members to participate in the hearing and share our strong opposition to the OCD proposal as well as the process. Let’s up the ante and get 50 or more from Retake and with YUCCA, pack the Zoom room.


In addition to providing public comment at the hearing, send a written comment to the Oil Conservation Division by emailing the Commission Clerk, Florene Davidson at florene.davidson@state.nm.us. Speaking points are simple:

  • We oppose the use of fracked toxic waste, aka produced water used for any purpose other than repurposed in fracking operations;
  • We want our water preserved for drinking and agriculture
  • We want strongly worded, enforceable regulations
  • We worry about the role of the gas and oil industry in creating these rules and in its role as a research partner with NMSU on fracked toxic waste

The View From Portland

Jesse in Portland

Our son Jesse drove his camper van to visit his sister in Sacramento (socially distanced) before she started her med school rotations for the next year (gulp). He then headed to Portland to visit friends where he has been staying in his van by day and protesting by night. His first night there he was at the protest from around 8 pm until 1 am. There were thousands present and he was blown away by how well organized people were.

While everyone wore masks, a friend of Jesse’s equipped him with a full on gas mask and some serious goggles. Bring on the tear gas!

While largely passive, the crowd did try to goad the police a bit, pushing against the fence surrounding the federal building, but aside from that no serious provocations on Friday night. Nonetheless, tear gas and rubber bullets were used to try to disperse the crowd, with federal troops popping out of the federal building to dispense bullets and tear gas before returning to the building.

But the protesters were clever. They had organized a “Leaf Blower Brigade” comprised of a team of folks armed with leaf blowers. Whenever tear gas was fired, they moved forward to blow the tear gas back at the police. I love this! Take that Feds, assault with the deadly leaf blower.

Trump’s now framing his campaign around “Law and Order” is a clear effort to distract voters from the spiking COVID, his administration’s bungling of the pandemic, and the inevitable catastrophe of trying to force schools to open. I only hope that protesters keep cool heads and offer no provocations that can justify Trump’s response. The one thing that could re-energize Trump’s campaign is if he is seen as the strong leader, “dominating” out-of-control cities and restoring order. After the first two weeks of George Floyd protests, 95% have been completely peaceful. A far better image for the TV cameras would be protesters on their knees as Trump’s troops fire tear gas.

A Look at Last Week

All three of last week’s posts are worth your time, so if you missed any of these posts, I’d take some time to check them out today. If you are pressed for time, I’d read the post at the bottom, from Saturday, as it includes an important report on the US government’s efforts to vastly expand LANL and its role in the nuclear arms race we are about to trigger.

Produced Water is Barreling Our Way, Unchecked;
Trump Wants to Cut Funds for Testing

Tuesday, July 21. Sometimes the news is so perplexing. Tuesday we began with our Oil Conservation Commission trying to ease regulations on produced water. On Thursday, I praised the Governor for her COVID leadership, but she and Democratic leadership in the legislature were the ones who concocted the entire “Fracked, Toxic, It Ain’t Water Just Cuz You Say So Act.”

We then examined Trump’s efforts to cut all spending for COVID testing because if you don’t test, the numbers go down. What a mind. Trump wants to make COVID go away by cutting testing. If it works, we should eliminate mammograms and cure breast cancer and destroy all scales and cure obesity. Finally, we offered two very clever Sarah Cooper videos as she lip sync’s Trump outrageously. We also offered a video on Trump’s military police invading Portland and threatening to come to a city near you soon. Is this preparation for what happens on Nov 3? Great stuff. Click here to read on.

A Brief Commentary on the Guv;
Another Moving Tribute to John Lewis

Democratic National Convention 2016

Thursday, July 23. Thursday we offered information on a number of actions and events. We also offered a moving video tribute to John Lewis and a tribute to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for her courage in holding the line on COVID.

Finally News In Brief presented three stories, one from Heather Cox Richardson who is becoming our favorite blogger; another to an article on the just-released NM state methane capture regulations, and a link to a report disclosing just how wrong Trump is about domestic terrorism — the report reveals that between 75-80% of all killing and violence conducted by domestic terrorists comes from the right, not the left. You know those right-wing terrorists that Trump boasts are “really good people.” At the end of the post, we provide a hilarious compilation of video from Sarah Cooper lip syncing Trump talk. Read on! Click here to read the full post.

Is NM’s “Just” Transition Moving from G&O to Nuclear Arms? Plus Urgent PRC Action

Saturday, July 25. We threw a lot at you Saturday, with video to watch, online conferences to attend, radio shows to hear, and two urgent calls to action, one related to the PRC and one related to our feature story, NM Being Invaded by the Military Industrial Complex. We also offered information on a tremendous international Veterans for Peace conference with a total focus on nuclear arms proliferation with many of the presenters from NM. We close the post with two videos: David Berkeley a Santa Fe singer songwriter, and the 9-minute speech Ocasio-Cortez gave on the House floor explaining why she is so offended by House Rep. Yoho (R). It is inspiring. She oozes integrity. Onward. Click here to review this post.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

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1 reply

  1. It’s really nice to read a report on the situation in Portland from someone who was actually part of one of the protests. Love the leaf blower idea…

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