Make your voice heard by contacting your State Senator and Representative to let them know you want them to support bills for a safe water and energy future! Your contacting them by making a phone call or testifying at a committee hearing can make a difference!
To get started here are some tips. First of all, Find your legislator (click here)! Next, click on the bills below to find more information, particularly if there is a “Fiscal Impact Report” which provides a background on what the bill does. Then, contact your legislators on the issues you care about using phone, email, or simply dropping a letter or even a hand-written note at the legislators office.
Hot bills for 2013!
Here are some bills you might consider supporting after you have looked at the bills and issues and decide it is something you care about. Thanks to Conservation Voters NM for some of this information.
HB 136: Disclosure of Fracturing Fluid Composition (Egolf)
The process of fracturing or ‘fracking’ rock formations with injections of fluids containing toxic chemicals has understandably raised concerns about contamination of ground and surface water.
HB 181/SB 309: Lease of Water Rights for Streamflow (Gentry; Griego)
This measure prescribes the requirements and procedure for state engineer approval of water leases for maintaining or enhancing fish and wildlife resources. Right now state law doesn’t make it clear or easy to dedicate water rights to a river.
HB 286: Oil & Gas Financial Assurance (Chasey/M Sanchez)-Died on the house floor on 32/36 vote
Much has chwanged since 1935, when the Oil and Gas Act was enacted. The Act is desperately in need of modernization to reflect current realities—particularly the need to adequately enforce the oil and gas industry’s responsibility to protect crucial and declining water supplies. HB 286 would bring New Mexico’s fines and penalties in line with surrounding states like Texas and Arizona, while increasing financial assurance requirements to minimize the liability of compliant companies and taxpayers for violators who fail to meet their obligations.
HB 335: Water Resource Testing & Damage Remedies (Egolf/M Sanchez)-never introduced in HENR committee
While HB 136 addresses the public’s right to know which chemicals are being pumped near their water supply, HB 335 focuses on monitoring to establish whether or not fracking is even a problem. In many ways, this measure protects industry, by requiring basic testing before, during and after fracking operations. If the testing doesn’t reflect any impacts from the fracking process, it will bolster the oil and gas industry’s assertions that fracking doesn’t contaminate water.
SB 99: Dental Amalgam Waste Act (Wirth)
SB 99 is a simple measure that merely requires dental offices to remove dental amalgam—composed of highly-toxic mercury—before it is discharged in sewer systems.
Here are some bills you might oppose.
HB 267: Utility Energy Efficiency & Load Management (Strickler)
The Efficient Use of Energy Act (EUEA) requires public utilities to implement all cost-effective energy efficiency programs, resulting in reduced energy demand and cost-savings for consumers. In fact, the efficiency programs of PNM, Xcel Energy and El Paso Electric implemented between 2008 and 2011 saved consumers over $190 million. HB 267 would strip the EUEA of the requirement to conduct all cost-effective efficiency measures, based on an arbitrary 1% cost cap. This would significantly weaken the Act, ultimately causing much higher utility bills in the future as failure to curb energy demand spurs the need to construct more power plants.
SB 193: Water Quality Control Commissioners (Griego)
By law, the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) sunsets this year, and it is important that the Commission be extended, as SB 193 proposes. However, SB 193 also dramatically weakens the WQCC by altering the composition of the committee—removing much of the health and technical expertise, and stacking it towards industry-allied agencies. Conservation Voters New Mexico and others are working for a compromise to make sure important health and environmental views are respresented — until then you might want to oppose this bill.