3-6-23 Alert

Good Evening, New Mexico Activists:

There are two important bills that we oppose coming up on Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon. They were both included in yesterday’s Alert, but after a meeting of allies this afternoon, we have new information about one of them: Clean Future Act.

On Tues., March 7, 9 a.m., Room 311, Senate Conservation will hear SB 520 Clean Future Act (listed as one of the dummy bills, “Public Peace, Health, Safety & Water.”) We remain opposed unless further amendments are made. We completely support state efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions and we appreciate how bill sponsors have been responsive to input from environmental organizations. We especially appreciate the sponsors responding to that input by eliminating the offset and carbon trading aspects of the bill, which we believe are harmful and undermine effective regulation, especially impacting BIPOC and frontline communities. Three critical amendments still needed:

1. Include downstream accounting of emissions: Given New Mexico’s global carbon impact from increased extraction in the Chaco region and Permian Basin, it’s essential that we include downstream emissions tracking from NM oil and gas extraction in the reporting section of the bill. We are not persuaded that this will significantly increase the costs of implementation, as OCD already tracks O&G production and assigning carbon output values to this production is not an onerous task.

2. Fully fund EMNRD & NMED for environmental enforcement actions, and not for hydrogen. How many inspectors are there currently employed by the NMED to oversee current O&G wells? As reported in 2022, the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD) — the state’s oil and gas monitoring body — has 11 inspectors dedicated to field work and has vacancies for two more. The Air Quality Bureau (AQB) at the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has six inspectors, but they monitor a lot more than just oil and gas operations. That means fewer than a dozen full-time, oil-and-gas-only field monitors to cover more than 52,000 active wells in the state. That’s not to mention thousands more injection wells, with more and more wells drilled every day.

3. Ensure that “beneficial reuse” won’t be used for hydrogen.

With these changes this bill is an excellent start toward holding our gas & oil operators accountable. Please email committee members today to urge them to amend the bill or vote “NO” on SB 520. Offer public comment in person at the hearing or via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82404382748.

 Zoom via telephone at 1 669 900 9128. Meeting ID: 824 0438 2748. To submit written comments, please email SCONC.Zoom@nmlegis.gov. Or watch the Webcast at this link.

Senate Conservation Committee            

Bulk email: “Joseph Cervantes” <joseph.cervantes@nmlegis.gov>, “David M. Gallegos” <david@ramirezandsonsinc.com>, “Carrie Hamblen” <carrie.hamblen@nmlegis.gov>, “Steven P. Neville” <steven.neville@nmlegis.gov>, “Harold Pope” <harold.popejr@nmlegis.gov>, “Gregg Schmedes” <gregg.schmedes@nmlegis.gov>, “Antoinette Sedillo Lopez” <a.sedillolopez@nmlegis.gov>, “William P. Soules” <bill.soules@nmlegis.gov>, “Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics” <lstefanics@msn.com>

REMINDER: Weds., March 8, 1:30 p.m., Room 322, Senate Finance will hear SB 493 Brackish Water Reuse. This bill passed Senate Conservation (SCONC) on Friday, unfortunately. Senators Hamblen, Pope, and Sedillo Lopez voted against it, but Senators Stefanics and Cervantes joined the Republicans to pass the bill 4:3. We’re not sure what might happen in Senate Finance — SB 493 is Senator Muñoz’s bill, and he chairs the committee. But it’s worth urging committee members to vote “NO.” We don’t have talking points, butyou’ll find a link to Paul’s March 1 blog on SB 493 here. If the intent was to simply desalinate naturally occurring brackish water in our state, we might be in support. But at the Friday SCONC hearing, neither the sponsor (Muñoz) nor expert witnesses would deny that “brackish” includes toxic water from mining and fracking, aka “produced” water. We need to fight this bill! Please call and email committee members to urge them to vote “NO” on SB 493.

Offer public comment in person or via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81696207177. To Zoom via telephone call: 1 669 444 9171. Meeting ID: 816 9620 7177. To submit written comments or to register to speak using Zoom, please email SFC.Zoom@nmlegis.gov. Watch the Webcast at this link.

Senate Finance Committee

  • Chair: George K. Munoz (D). District 4 (Cibola, McKinley & San Juan). Room 325B, 986-4371. Email: george.munoz@nmlegis.gov
  • Vice Chair: Nancy Rodriguez (D). District 24 (Santa Fe). Room 325A, 986-4264. Email: nancy.rodriguez@nmlegis.gov
  • Ranking Member: William E. Sharer (R). District 1 (San Juan). Room 415H, 986-4381. Email: bill@williamsharer.com
  • Member: William F. Burt (R). District 33 (Chaves, Lincoln & Otero). Room 415C, 986-4366. Email: bill.burt@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Pete Campos (D). District 8 (Colfax, Guadalupe, Harding, Mora, Quay, San Miguel & Taos). Room 302B, 986-4311. Email: pete.campos@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Crystal R. Diamond (R). District 35 (Doña Ana, Hidalgo, Luna & Sierra). Room 414C, 986-4703. Email: crystal.diamond@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales (D). District 6 (Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe & Taos). Room 218A, 986-4362. Email: roberto.gonzales@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Siah Correa Hemphill (D). District 28 (Catron, Grant & Socorro). Room 416F, 986-4863. Email: siah.hemphill@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Michael Padilla (D). District 14 (Bernalillo). Room , . Email: michael.padilla@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Jeff Steinborn (D). District 36 (Doña Ana). Room 302A, 986-4862. Email: jeff.steinborn@nmlegis.gov
  • Member: Pat Woods (R). District 7 (Curry, Quay & Union). Room 415D, 986-4393. Email: pat.woods@nmlegis.gov

Bulk email: “William F. Burt” <bill.burt@nmlegis.gov>, “Pete Campos” <pete.campos@nmlegis.gov>, “Crystal R. Diamond” <crystal.diamond@nmlegis.gov>, “Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales” <roberto.gonzales@nmlegis.gov>, “Siah Correa Hemphill” <siah.hemphill@nmlegis.gov>, “George K. Munoz” <george.munoz@nmlegis.gov>, “Michael Padilla” <michael.padilla@nmlegis.gov>, “Nancy Rodriguez” <nancy.rodriguez@nmlegis.gov>, “William E. Sharer” <bill@williamsharer.com>, “Jeff Steinborn” <jeff.steinborn@nmlegis.gov>, “Pat Woods” <pat.woods@nmlegis.gov>

That’s all for today. We hope you can email Senate Conservation members about SB 520 tonight!

In Gratitude & Solidarity,

Roxanne and Paul

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