Just a quick note to show that sometimes it is possible to overcome the influence of NM oil & gas and PNM. We won this because so many of you weighed in.
Kudos to our allies New Energy Economy, WildEarth Guardians, Earth Care, YUCCA, the Alliance and Sierra Club. More details coming, but wanted to put a smile on your face now.
How Fun Is It To Win? Let’s Win Again.
The state is hellbent on giving the G&O industry exactly what it wants a the Oil Conservation Commission hearings Thursday and Friday. If successful, the OCC would open the door to gas and oil magically transforming toxic waste into “treated water” that can then be commodified and used to de-ice our roads, use in road construction, or use in agriculture. This would eliminate billions of dollars of gas and oil industry costs storing and transporting toxic waste produced in fracking and make that toxic waste something G&O can actually sell or freely dump in our rivers. In either case, G&O escapes responsibility for safely storing this highly toxic waste while we suffer the consequences.
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, allowing oil and gas operations to avoid meaningful regulation of how they manage their toxic waste.
This is all moving way too fast and without any respectful effort to thoughtfully engage the public. We must put the brakes on this train. To sign WildEarth Guardian’s petition to the Governor, click here. But also, we need your testimony, so go to our Actions & Events page and find out about the hearing.
Given that this is not much information for a typical blog, we included a guest post we were sent a week ago. it is very pertinent to the fight for racial justice spreading across the nation.
Celebrating freedom while taking freedom from others
This guest blog was forwarded to me by a colleague and Peter graciously allowed me to reprint it. It asks us to reflect on the COVID-induced trauma we are all feeling, the loss of freedom and the loss of control. He then asks that you think about the sense of loss and trauma experienced daily and for hundreds of years of those African American, Indigenous, and immigrant people who don’t benefit from our “whiteness.” He also raises valid questions about our Constitution and how a document crafted by slaveowners could be pertinent to US life almost 250 years later. Read on.
If you’re feeling angst around the removal of statues, the pulling into question of national monuments that have stood for a hundred years, I understand. This sort of change is difficult; everything we grew up with feels like it’s going away; everything we thought about and took for granted as our way of life is now under scrutiny. Mount Rushmore, the National Anthem, anything that this country was built on and was weaved into our culture is now taken on new meaning. The very freedoms we’ve enjoyed our entire lives are being taken away. So, take into account that all that rage you’re feeling, all the settled comfort you once enjoyed is now being overrun.
Now imagine what it felt like to the people we did it to. It’s called oppression, and it feels awful. Yet, we as white people built an entire culture on it.
I’m not here to bash our forefathers. They framed a document which until 2016 we followed as best we could. They lived in a different time and place and we’ve evolved since then. Back then the oppression of another man was perfectly OK. Hell, they were oppressed by a king, so they moved to get away from it and ended up dumping some perfectly good tea into a harbor in order to say “we’re never going back.” However, there’s an old saying: “We bring our own hell with us whereever we go.”
Meaning, no matter what we’re running from we tend to bring some of that old way of life with us. So, this culture that rioted for freedoms, then celebrated those freedoms by taking the freedoms of others. It’s like we’re in a loop of a psychiatric event and we can’t find the off switch.
Our Constitution was framed while those oppressed people were oppressing people. But let’s face it, it’s over 200 years old so there are truly parts that need some updating. For instance, the first automobile was built in 1885; we certainly wouldn’t drive it the same way we drive now.
Why is it we expect to live with 200-year-old ideals, because it’s what we know? We’ve always just arrived and taken. Columbus claimed to discover America, yet when you get off a boat and say “hello,” then someone answers you, well, you haven’t discovered anything. The atrocities that followed when Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria is why we call it Indigenous Peoples Day here in Vermont. But then Vermont seems to always do the right thing.
Do you know the history of Mount Rushmore? Did you know that the man that sculpted it was a Klansman?
Did you know that the KKK helped fund it and that it was carved on a mountain that was owned by indigenous tribes and had already called the mountain The Six Grandfathers? And if that wasn’t enough for you, two of the four faces that are up there — George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — were slave owners. Abraham Lincoln famously “freed” slaves, but he supported eradicating Indian tribes and approved America’s largest-ever mass execution, the hanging of 38 Dakota in Mankato for their alleged crimes. Teddy Roosevelt said, “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are …”. So, even though all four of those men are considered great, turns out they helped propagate this culture.
While you sit there and worry about the direction the country is going, if you feel like everything you knew and everything that made you comfortable is being stripped away, stop for a second and consider this is what we’ve been doing to people for well over 200 years in this country.
We’ve taken everything away from them and replaced it with unfamiliar things and demanded that they except it. Our culture came here and forced the indigenous people off their land.
We kidnapped people from Africa and enslaved them. If they didn’t comply, we beat them. So, if you’re not feeling comfortable right now, please understand that nobody is pulling you from your home and forcing you to work or live somewhere you don’t want to.
You may lose a statue of a slave owner, however. But somehow, I think you’ll survive it and then freely move about the planet.
Peter “Fish” Case is a man with an opinion.
He offers up a weekly podcast discussion that can be heard at http://www.theearspoon.com.
Questions, compliments and complaints can be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.
Peter ‘Fish’ Case
Paul & Roxanne