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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Redford & Richardson

Yesterday, Robert Redford teamed up with Gov. Bill Richardson here to blast the Bush administration's environental record. The event was held at the Audubon Center. The event was sponsored by The Environmental Accountability Fund" and the Conservation Voters. In addition to the water issues I wrote about yesterday, New Mexico is in a position to be heavily impacted by environmental policies relating to land because we have, well, a lot of it, and a lot of it is federal. Richardson is on record objecting to the recent ruling regarding building new roads in national forests, then there's the oil drilling in Otero Mesa issue. The Bureau of Land Management unveiled a plan in January to open up 1.4 million acres of land in the Greater Otero Mesa area to basically unrestricted development—the plan would allow oil and gas companies to drill 140 wells over 20 years on those lands. This is, I believe the largest stretch of Chihuahuan desert grassland in North America, and has a healthy population of pronghorm antelope, as well as one of the largest untapped natural gas reserves in the US. The BLM’s plan is at
The BLM's plan. You can also read Richardson's counterproposal
Other enviro issues worrying state officials include the easing of mercury emissions from coal-fired plants and their threat on air and water and changing the Clean Water Act. Oh, and the nuclear industry, of course. On the bright side, it ain't ever dull around here.