Make coal companies pay their fair share

San Juan Power Plant

What: BLM listening session on coal royalties
Where: Courtyard Marriott, 560 Scott Ave., Farmington
When: 1-4 p.m. Thursday, August 20th

Dear fellow Sierran,

On Aug. 20 in Farmington, you have a critical opportunity to make mining companies pay their fair share for coal mined on our public lands.

Suburbia Bad for Business

By Rick LoBello, El Paso Group Executive Committee

The current wave of development in cities around the world threatens both businesses and quality of life.

Here in El Paso, when two men spotted a bulldozer blading a road across a pristine part of the Franklin Mountains in 1978, they inspired citizens across the community to take action to help stop the ravenous rampage of suburbia.

Summer Gardening tips

By Jessie Emerson, Zero Waste Committee

Zero waste means no toxic waste in the environment. Summertime, gardening, veggies and flowers mean pest control. Before you reach for a commercial product, read these tips:

1. Rabbits in the garden? Plant some food outside the garden for the bunnies. Wormwood in a border will repel animals and, after establishing, tolerate drought.

2. A dusting of powdered aloe helps keep away insects.

El Paso Electric Latest to Try to Punish Solar Users

By Ken and Christine Newtson, Southern New Mexico Group

On May 11, El Paso Electric (EPE), which serves Southern New Mexico and the El Paso area, filed with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for an increase in electric rates of 7.1 percent of non-fuel-based rates. These proposed rates will result in a 9 percent increase, on average, to Southern New Mexico total residential bills.

As EPE last filed for a non-fuel-based rate increase in New Mexico in 2009, an appropriate rate increase is reasonable.

Clean-water coalition, industry reach settlement on Dairy Rule

The average New Mexico dairy holds 2,000 cows and produces more waste daily than a small city.

On Monday, April 6, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission expressed support for a settlement between the Citizens Dairy Coalition (which includes the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter), the dairy industry, the New Mexico Attorney General and the New Mexico Environment Department that retains some of the protections of our state’s current, unenforced Dairy Rule. The commission will vote on the new rule at its May meeting in Santa Fe.

Deal shuts door on funding for Gila River alternatives

By Allyson Siwik, Chapter Executive Committee, Gila Resources Information Project/Gila Conservation Coalition

After weeks of negotiations, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission approved in June a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) to form the entity that will be responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the billion-dollar Gila River diversion project. As of press time, nine local governments have signed the agreement in advance of the July 3 deadline.

Clean-water groups appeal copper ruling

By Allyson Siwik, Rio Grande Chapter Executive Committee and Director, Gila Resource Information Project

The New Mexico Attorney General and water-protection groups have filed petitions with the New Mexico Supreme Court seeking reversal of the Court of Appeals’ opinion upholding the validity of the Copper Rule, which regulates discharges from copper mines. Contrary to state law, the Copper Rule makes polluting groundwater at mine sites legal as long as contamination is contained.

El Paso Group news:

Sealing the deal on Big Bend, By Rick LoBello, El Paso Group

Big Bend International Park is one of the best-kept secrets in North America. Since 1932, the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, Mexican President Manual Avila Camacho, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Rotary International and the National Parks Conservation Association have been unable to seal the deal in creating the largest symbol of international peace ever planned in the Western Hemisphere.

Sunshine on the Gila River process

Allyson Siwik, Chapter Executive Committee Gila Resources Information Project

Assault on Mining Act stalls in House

Allyson Siwik, Chapter Executive Committee, Gila Resources Information Project Director

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