In The News

Jan 28th, 2021

New Mexico Families in Oil and Gas ‘Waste Zone’ Seek Help

“Something just blew up!”

Cora Gonzales was in her room on Jan. 4 when she heard her father yell. In the evenings he watches TV while sitting by the living room window, and that’s where she found him, looking outside and not at the tube. The rest of the family quickly joined them and they stared through the picture window as flames shot into the night sky from a nearby well pad.

Jan 27th, 2021

NM Legislature Debates Tougher Rules, Penalities for Oil and Gas

SANTA FE, N.M. -- The New Mexico Senate has agreed to take up a bill that would increase penalties for produced water spills by the oil and gas industry. "Produced water" is the flowback from fracking, known to contain dangerous chemicals and heavy metals toxic to humans. Camilla Feibelman, director of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, said spills from produced water occur as frequently as three times a week, and subsequently poison New Mexico's land, water and air.

Jan 25th, 2021

Lawmaking for the Environment: Here are the environmental and clean energy bills to track this session

New Mexico lawmakers and the governor have made it clear that pulling the state out of the COVID-19 morass and dealing with the attendant budget shortfalls are the top priority for the legislative session that began last week. But that hasn't stopped legislators, all of them Democrats, from proposing some important energy- and climate-related bills.

Jan 22nd, 2021

PNM wants customers to pay $300m to exit a coal plant

In November 2020, PNM announced it would leave the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant by the end of 2024, seven years earlier than planned. The accelerated exit will bring an end to PNM’s coal assets in New Mexico two decades ahead of the clean energy mandate set forth in the state’s Energy Transition Act of 2019. 

Jan 17th, 2021

Proposed bill would modify Oil and Gas Act

SANTA FE, N.M. – State Senator Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez has pre-filed a state bill that could see changes to one of the state’s most lucrative industries. The bill would add multiple new clauses to New Mexico’s Oil and Gas Act, which regulates the extraction of fossil fuels...

Jan 16th, 2021

New Mexico senate bill seeks to ban freshwater use by oil and gas, penalize spills

New Mexico’s upcoming 2021 Legislative Session could see dramatic changes in how the state regulates oil and gas operations, one of its most lucrative industries.

State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-16) of Bernalillo County pre-filed a Senate bill that could make sweeping changes to New Mexico’s Oil and Gas Act, which provides primary guidance on how the state regulates and overseeing extraction of fossil fuels…

Jan 15th, 2021

Environmental bills coming in the 2021 legislative session

With just one week away from the 2021 session, state legislators have prefiled over 120 bills. Here’s a glimpse of some of the environment-focused bills we’ll be watching.
The Green Amendment: State Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque and Bill Soules, D-Las Cruces, are proposing an amendment to the New Mexico state constitution to protect the state’s natural resources. Rep. Joanne Ferrary, D-Las Cruces is introducing the bill in the House...

Jan 11th, 2021

New Mexico Leaders Praise Legislators For Proposing Constitutional Environmental Rights

Commentary: New Mexico leaders are applauding the Joint Resolution pre-filed Monday, January 4, by Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Senator Bill Soules, and Representative Joanne Ferrary to amend the New Mexico Constitution in order to add enforceable environmental rights...

Jan 10th, 2021

Carlsbad family settles with company in fracking spill

A Carlsbad family has settled with an energy company over a burst pipeline that rained contaminated “produced water” from hydraulic fracturing onto them and their property last year.

The family reached a settlement last week with WPX Energy Permian LLC for an undisclosed sum over the incident, which occurred in January 2020...

Jan 8th, 2021

Lawmakers: New Mexico energy law needs to protect customers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Three Democratic state lawmakers who initially supported New Mexico’s landmark energy law are proposing changes to protect utility customers from significant rate hikes in the future...

Jan 8th, 2021

NM “Produced Water” Explosion Leads to Proposed Legislation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico lawmakers will be asked to amend the state's 2019 Oil and Gas Act when the Legislature convenes Jan. 19.

The proposed revision would prohibit the discharge of "produced water," the flowback from fracking known to contain dangerous chemicals and heavy metals toxic to humans…

Jan 8th, 2021

New Mexico 'Green Amendment' seeks to ensure clean air, water, land

LAS CRUCES — All New Mexicans, both those now residing here and those who are yet to come, would have a constitutional right to clean air, water and land under legislation being co-sponsored by Sen. Bill Soules and Rep. Joanne Ferrary, both D-Las Cruces, and Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque...

Jan 5th, 2021

Legislators eye minimum sick leave, anti-discrimination law

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico legislators unveiled initiatives on issues ranging from minimum sick-day requirements as a precaution against contagions in the workplace to halting discrimination based on hair styles and rights to clean air and water...