Report from Methane Rules Meeting

A major methane plume hangs over the Four Corners, which includes northwestern New Mexico. The Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico is a hot bed of oil & gas activity. Methane adds many times the amount of damage to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. The air quality that results from methane emissions and other pollutants from fracking and conventional drilling has been associated with respiratory problems, cancer, and possible harm to pregnancies.

A series of public comments meetings in Farmington, Albuquerque, and Carlsbad were conducted for the public to learn about methane rules to be proposed by the state. The new rules would regulate venting, flaring and leaks of natural gas and promote capture of the natural gas now lost in the atmosphere. The benefits of increasing natural gas capture include larger state revenues, greater profits for the oil and gas industry, and less methane pollution for communities. The new approach has been described as a win-win-win for all stakeholders, including the public good. Below is a report from the meeting in Albuquerque.

During the meeting, the state was represented by the heads of the Environment Department (ED) and the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resource Departments (EMNRD). The two departments will work together on writing the rules, although the ED sees methane as pollution while the EMNRD sees methane as waste [of a natural resource].

The public in attendance was standing room only in a large lecture hall and posed many technically sophisticated questions, many critical of the state approach. Native Americans wanted to know about tribal consultations and a timeline for writing and implementing the rules. It was pointed out that the public comments phase was at the beginning of the process though actual rule creation may begin in November. A question and answer section went on for an hour. Also there was a sign up sheet for two-minute public comments. Several elected officials were also in the audience. It was a meeting with quite a different flavor from the meeting earlier the same week in Farmington with contentious input from opponents to any change of the methane regime.

Public comments are invited. The Environment Department can be reached at sandra.ely@state.nm.us The Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department can be reached at adrienne.sandoval@state.nm.us

References:
http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6398/186
https://wiki2.org/en/Methane_emissions
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0131093
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009Sci…326..716S
https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/EHP2553
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.018

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Declare Independence from the Corporate Duopoly!

Declare your independence from the corporate party duopoly! For a decade now, more registered voters in the United States have identified as independents than with either of the major parties. Depending on the polling or categorization method, this group may include minor-party adherents. Minor parties, e. g., Greens and Libertarians, often are included in a separate category (Other) that is much smaller than I/D/R. Note that 31 states, including New Mexico, have registration by party; the overall pattern does not quite hold for New Mexico. While the number of voters registered with minor parties is relatively small, the state is more partisan in registration than others, and the Libertarians currently have major party status.

Issues of local, state-wide, and national concern are sometimes like a buffet or the offerings of a summer picnic: varied, with lots of options for potential solutions. People like to pick and choose in accordance to their tastes and beliefs. The U. S. system attempts to force all partakers to choose from two prix fixe menus. The cost of this system is too high, prompting people to turn away at the entrance.

Those who obtain power through this system have subordinated their responsibilities of governance to the effort of entrenching themselves at the head of the table. People of colour, young people, poor people, and urbanites have found themselves in the same electoral boat as minor parties, without federal protection from disenfranchisement. We, the people, can declare our independence from this oppressive system by answering the call to run for office as a Green. More choices, more voices.

Green Thoughts on Juneteenth

Here are two pieces published today on an important topic.  Juneteenth.  Juneteenth and Reparations.  Today, the U. S. House of Representatives began hearing House Resolution 40, a bill that proposes the formation of a committee to study reparations.  It is a symbolic date.  People held in slavery in Texas remained captive for an additional two years and nearly six months after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued because nobody bothered to tell them they were out of bondage earlier.  The statements at the links below are from candidates seeking the 2020 Green Party nomination for President.  The Green Party steps up to address injustice; it doesn´t step away.

Juneteenth 2019 Green Party Presidential Joint Statement on Reparations

Juneteenth 2019: The US Must Repair Historic and Current Racism

 

 

Green Wave in Europe

The European elections last month had positive outcomes for the Green Party. The Greens had the second highest total in Germany with ~21% of the vote. They broke double digits in Finland and France. Some party members credit concerns about global warming as leading voters to recognize that Greens are serious about the issue. However, Greens are not a one-issue party. As recognized by the Guardian,

And more recently they have consolidated a manifesto that puts social justice and human rights at the heart of the fight for the planet…

Greens recognize that our Four Pillars (Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Non-Violence, and Grassroots Democracy) are intertwined. Destruction of the planet reduces resources, such as clean water and clean air, needed for healthy communuties. Conflicts arise over scarce resources, potentially leading to violence. State powers that limit participation in governance and economic development make it possible for privatization of public services and corporate control of natural resources. These natural resource are exploited for corporate profit, and the cycle continues.

Insist that Green candidates are provided a public platform. Help open debates; protest media black-outs; and work to stop the efforts across the country to limit ballot access. Let’s get the Green Wave to wash over North America.  Learn how you can help.

Guardian story
Common Dreams story
Map to Green Party Seats in European Union

 

Green Party Green New Deal–No Nuclear

The Green Party of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area (GPAMA) acknowledges recent efforts by members of the Democratic Party to take on the work of a Green New Deal. American Green Party candidates have been running on a Green New Deal since 2010.

The Green Party Green New Deal says no to nuclear power. March 11 is the eighth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that led to multiple explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station that released radiation into the environment with contamination reaching the United States. Nuclear facilities in the United States face similar catastrophic risks from increasingly volatile weather events. The Green Party Green New Deal seeks to create a sustainable job program that reduces the risks of global climate change by eliminating subsidies for the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries and investing in renewal energy training and expansion through public utilities, regenerative agriculture, and ecosystem restoration all while turning away from fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Stopping perpetual war for oil and nuclear one-upsmanship will allow a drastic decrease in the military budget. We could fund research and development in renewable, clean energy sources and public transportation. Universal healthcare and universal childcare would benefit all citizens; reparations to down-winders from nuclear weapons testing could be assured; clean-up of water and land contamination around military bases could be completed.

True tax and financial reforms that end loopholes and bail-outs for the super wealthy, provide small business investment, and establish public banking would open a living-wage economy to more people and allow equitable reduction of educational and housing debt burdens.

Time will tell if the major parties have the courage to establish a carbon tax and reject corporate control of the future of our planet, but time to act is running out. The Green Party Green New Deal is the real deal.

Serious about Climate Change?

The Green Party of New Mexico will submit the following statement to various outlets.

 

In accordance with the Green Party pillar, Ecological Wisdom, the Green Party of New Mexico and its affiliated local chapters laud Governor Luján Grisham’s Executive Order on January 29, 2019, committing New Mexico to essential climate change action. Given the lack of federal leadership on the climate question–as witnessed by the recent presidential State of the Union address (no mention whatsoever)–it is up to state and local governments to step up to the plate.

The Task Force appointed by the governor is a useful vehicle for getting action on climate change moving ahead with all due speed. We encourage the governor to tap the significant expertise in non-partisan, environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as input from affected citizens themselves for the ongoing Task Force. Just as much as or more than the oil and gas industry is, NGOs and citizens are important stakeholders in the discussions and should help shape climate decision making through the state administration.

Comments on Public Charge Rule

GPAMA is a local of Green Party of New Mexico (GPNM). GPNM submitted the following public comment on the proposed Public Charge Rule concerning admissibility for immigrants.

The Green Party of New Mexico (GPNM) opposes the proposed expansion of the assistance benefits under consideration by the Department of Homeland Security and the proposed consideration of any past use of public benefits under the public charge rule. GPNM strongly opposes the inclusion of state and local assistance programs in the admissibility assessment.

The expansive list of negative factors–including inherently subjective ones–that could be applied under the proposed changes potentially describes every native-born U. S. citizen in some way. The income threshold that would be established as an overriding positive factor, 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, when considered for a three-person household, is greater than the median household income in New Mexico.

In addition to the detrimental effects on families and public health the proposed rule changes likely would have, they would also make it harder for employers to keep skilled workers on H-1B visas. The proposed changes would be harmful to immigrants who arrived the United States legally and are working in the U. S. economy.