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09/29/11 CVNM Press Release: CVNM endorses Eric Griego 
04/22/11 Voters support commonsense environmental safeguards
03/30/11 Eco-Assault!: Fresh attacks on environmental regulations threaten New Mexico’s future
03/29/11 Conservation group lauds legislative outcomes; finds parallel regulatory effort “disturbing”
03/23/11 No major gains, losses for environmental groups in legislative session
03/16/11 Bill threatens restoration, conservation deals
03/16/11 Roundhouse Roundup: Political attack ads thrive in N.M.
03/09/11 Another one of those small business-friendly tactics?
03/08/11 SJC Tables Anti-Cultural Preservation Bill, Companion Bill Still Alive in NM House
03/04/11 Bills threatening cultural properties to be heard
03/03/11 Bill restricting “cap and trade” passes committee, but what does it do, exactly?

CVNM endorses Eric Griego for Congress

September 29, 2011
Conservation Voters NM Press release
For inquiries, please contact Sandy Buffett: 505-992-8683
CVNM endorses Eric Griego for Congress
Conservation Voters New Mexico announced its endorsement today of Eric Griego for Congress in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.
“Eric Griego has been a true and unwavering champion for environmental protection, clean energy and holding polluters accountable,” said Sandy Buffett, Executive Director of Conservation Voters NM. “That’s why Conservation Voters New Mexico is proud to endorse Eric Griego for Congress.”
Conservation Voters New Mexico, a nonpartisan, non-profit 501c(4) organization, works to protect New Mexico’s natural environment and our cherished way of life. Our mission is to make sensible conservation policies a top priority for elected officials, political candidates, and voters across the state. We do this by:

  • Educating legislators and the public on critical conservation issues;
  • Lobbying on behalf of pro-conservation legislation;
  • Holding legislators accountable for decisions that impact the environment; and
  • Endorsing and electing pro-conservation candidates to public office.

Voters support commonsense environmental safeguards

By Sandy Buffett, 4/22/11
From the water that comes out of our kitchen faucets to the acequias that nurture New Mexico’s crops, clean water is a natural resource on which all New Mexicans depend. When water and other precious resources are threatened by contamination and climate-induced scarcity, we risk the health of our children, the self-sufficiency of our communities and our long-term livelihoods.
…According to two recent polls, New Mexicans across the state aren’t buying into the out-of-state corporations’ and lobbyists’ wish list for dismantling our existing safeguards. To be sure, the polls demonstrate support for even more protective environmental safeguards to keep our water, land and air clean and healthy.
Read more

Eco-Assault!: Fresh attacks on environmental regulations threaten New Mexico’s future

Laura Paskus, Santa Fe Reporter
Until approximately four decades ago, industry could do much as it pleased, not only here in New Mexico, but across the United States. But during the 1960s and 1970s, people became increasingly aware of how humans were fouling not only their own nests, but also the planet as a whole.
Beginning in the late 1960s, the United States set the course on environmental protection. Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and others regulating hazardous and nuclear waste, workplace safety and directing cleanup of the nation’s most polluted sites. …
“Elections have consequences,” Sandy Buffett, executive director of Conservation Voters of New Mexico, says.
And yet environmental and public health issues are not inherently political or partisan; everyone relies on clean water to drink and safe air to breathe.
“We take a lot of our existing environmental and public health safeguards for granted—we don’t expect to have to carry around a self-testing E coli kit when we go to a restaurant, or put a water sampling kit under our faucet when we go to get a glass of water,” she says. “We are counting on those vital services provided to us—and we count on that somebody is doing their job to make sure our health and safety is protected.”
Read more: Santa Fe Reporter

Conservation group lauds legislative outcomes; finds parallel regulatory effort “disturbing”

Marjorie Childress, KUNM Government Project
Gov. Susana Martinez has until April 8 to sign or veto 284 bills passed during the recently concluded legislative session covering a wide range of topics. Among them are a number that can be considered good environmental measures, but not one that could be considered anti-conservation, according to the environmental group Conservation Voters New Mexico. That’s a great victory, the group said in a statement, because the session started with an “assault” on the environment.
“This session, which started with a full-scale assault on New Mexico’s common-sense environmental protections, ended on Saturday with the Legislature doing the right thing by rebuffing all attacks on the safeguards that keep New Mexico’s air and water clean,” the group stated in a media advisory about their legislative wrap-up, which includes a chart tracking over 100 bills that impact the environment.
Read more: KUNM

Bill threatens restoration, conservation deals

By Steve Terrell | The Santa Fe New Mexican
Michael and Maggie Garcia thought they had a deal with the state.
Working with the Agriculture Department and the Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust, the Corrales couple was going to sell part of their land in Sandoval County as a “conservation easement.” To prepare for the sale, they spent about $10,000 on hydrological and geological reports, appraisals and surveys.
But deep within the 48-page Capital Outlay Bill, passed this week in the Senate and working its way through House committees, there’s language that could sandbag the transaction, leaving the Garcias some $10,000 poorer.
Eric Vasquez of Conservation Voters New Mexico, lobbying to keep the projects, said there is some debate about whether the bill would apply to those like the Garcias who already have a contract with the state for projects.
Read More: The Santa Fe New Mexican

Roundhouse Roundup: Political attack ads thrive in N.M.

Steve Terrell | The Santa Fe New Mexican
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Speaking of ad campaigns, state law requires groups that advertise in favor of or in opposition to legislation to register and report expenses to the Secretary of State’s Office. So far, three have done so. One is the Susana Martinez for Governor Campaign, which on Feb. 28 reported spending $5,648 assumedly for the driver’s license spots.
The others filing reports were:
The American Federation of Teachers, which on March 1 reported spending $38,489 on advertising. Of that, $15,000 went to Adelstein Liston, a political consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The rest went for newspaper and Internet ads. (Full disclosure — this paper was paid $3,939.)
The Conservation Voters New Mexico on March 3 reported spending $2,065 for “patch-through calls,” which allowed people to connect with their legislator to protest the Cultural Properties Review bills (HB 422 and SB 421). These bills would have made it harder to designate cultural and historic sites. (Both bills effectively died in committee.)
Read More: The Santa Fe New Mexican

Another one of those small business-friendly tactics?

Clearly New Mexico, 3/09/2011
A bill that would bar the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board from making any greenhouse gas rules that are more stringent than federal law is making its way through Senate committees.
The bill, SB 489, sponsored by Clinton Harden, (R-Clovis), would not reverse the two carbon cap proposals that were approved in the waning days of the Richardson Administration. Those proposals drew strong opposition from the oil and gas industry and from Gov. Susana Martinez, who vowed during her campaign to reverse them if elected governor.
“Because we support more jobs and greater security and less drought and less pollution, we oppose this bill,” said Sandy Buffett, executive director of Conservation Voters New Mexico. “We need to be able to continue our position as a leader and not hamstring ourselves.”
Read more: Clearly New Mexico

SJC Tables Anti-Cultural Preservation Bill, Companion Bill Still Alive in NM House

Tuesday, March 08, 2011
On Monday night, a bill that would have thwarted New Mexicans’ ability to protect sacred, cultural, and historic sites was stalled in Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) by a tabling motion that passed 6-4.
“New Mexico is home to rich cultural and historic sites that bolster the tourism industry in many local communities,” said Sandy Buffett, Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM). “Protecting the lands that are important to New Mexicans is not only responsible, but ensures that our communities are culturally and economically sound. We applaud the committee’s action to table SB 421.”
Read More: Democracy for New Mexico

Bills threatening cultural properties to be heard

Clearly New Mexico, 3/04/2011
Here’s a legislative alert from our friends at Conservation Voters New Mexico!
SB421, a bill that would strip local communities of the right to protect significant cultural properties, is scheduled to be heard today (March 4) in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which convenes at 2:30 or whenever the Senate floor session ends. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Rod Adair, (R-Roswell).
Read more: Clearly NM

Bill restricting “cap and trade” passes committee, but what does it do, exactly?

Capitol Report New Mexico March 3, 2011
During this current 60-day legislative session, attempts to turn back cap and trade requirements the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) passed late last year have been thwarted at the committe level.
But on March 1, a bill managed to get through the Senate Conservation Committee on a 4-1 vote . However, there’s disagreement about how far the measure goes.
Senate Bill 489 is sponsored by Sen. Clint Harden (R-Clovis) and it’s designed to amend the Air Quality Control Act to prevent the EIB from adopting rules on greenhouse gas emissions that are stricter than those of the federal government.
Read more & watch Sandy Buffett’s interview: Capitol Report