Letters to the Editor, May 31, 2019
Energy bill not good for state
Despite having the largest budget surplus in state history, lower unemployment and surging job growth, several lawmakers continue to hurt the industry most responsible for this string of feel-good headlines: energy.
The latest example is a new law that will force publicly regulated utilities to get 80 percent of their electricity from renewables like wind and solar by 2040 and 100 percent from carbon-free resources by 2045. We all support energy diversity, including wind and solar, but New Mexico currently gets half its electricity from coal and a third from natural gas.
Quickly cutting off these abundant, affordable resources for more expensive alternatives would drastically increase prices for seniors, households — especially those in rural areas — and families in lower-income brackets who spend far more of their take-home pay on energy expenses like electricity and gasoline than those in other income brackets.
It would also reverse much of the economic growth the State has seen.
About 80 percent of the growth in state income this past year came from the oil and gas sector, via severance taxes, rent, royalties, secondary taxes on sales and business-to-business transactions. This has led to the state’s largest job growth in over a decade. Unemployment is at its lowest in years, and more funding has been allocated to critical municipal services.
Lawmakers should want to help, not prevent, local energy production — especially now that a recent U.S. Geological Survey found that the Delaware portion of the Permian shale field contains about 46.3 billion barrels of oil. That’s about 49 years’ worth of oil at current production rates and decades’ worth of budget surpluses and economic growth.
New Mexico deserves policies that balance environmental protection and energy production equally. This law doesn’t cut it.
Consumer Energy Alliance
Time for action
There has been much recent chatter about missing and exploited indigenous women on reservations.
The problem is the time for discussion is over!
The reservation’s governing bodies, as well as the federal government need to act; NOW! We don’t need more conferences where government leaders get paid to go eat free food and take photo ops. We need them to get off their asses and get the job done!
I cannot speak for all reservations, but I know for a fact it is the official policy of The Navajo Tribal Police Force to not assign criminal investigators to missing persons cases unless a body is discovered. Why? Too busy? Not enough resources? BS! We don’t have time for half measures, small talk, and more excuses!
If the Navajo president needs to take a pay cut so the tribe can hire more criminal investigators, then by God that is what needs to happen. Conducting missing persons investigations is complicated. It is not the kind of case you want to be assigning to rookie cops, who are also trying to respond to emergency calls for service at the same time.
I call upon our tribal leaders and our federal government to do its job. The protection of all woman during these violent times must be a real priority for the powers that be. No more small talk. Hire more people to do the work; not to go to more meetings and more discussions, but to go out and find these women!
Did the active shooter drill have value?
On May 14 these pages spoke of an "active shooter" drill at San Juan Regional Hospital.
I cannot think of a more worthless exercise. After all, big letters on the ER door state that firearms are not allowed. Certainly, that is all said shooter would need to know.
We were there recently and I am ashamed to say that I obediently left my firearm in my vehicle. I was alarmed to encounter two UNARMED security guards who would be just as helpless as myself in the event of an active shooter.
So perhaps someone can explain the value of an active shooter drill, where the cops are already on scene and there may be only several casualties. For myself, I reserve the right to shoot back.
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