Inevitably, when talking about oil and gas development, the wordfracking comes up in conversation.
In the coming weeks, KUNM will be airing more feature stories on oil development in northwestern New Mexico. And I'll be posting here about some of the more technical issues I explore, such as fracking, or hydraulic fracturing.
The Public Regulation Commission held weeks of public hearings earlier this year on PNM’s plan to shut down two coal-fired units at the San Juan Generating Station. But this week people in Albuquerque will have one more chance to weigh in.
PRC Chair Karen Montoya said she received requests from her Albuquerque constituents who want their opinions taken into consideration.
“Things could possibly change a lot,” Montoya said. “Depending on what they [at PNM] bring on, it will effect a change in the mix.”
NM Senate Approves A $6.2 Billion Budget Bill - The Associated Press
The New Mexico Senate has approved a $6.2 billion spending proposal for the next fiscal year.
Senators Monday night took up a budget bill largely unchanged from what the House approved last month.
The spending plan includes pay raises for new teachers and state police officers. Most department budgets remain flat, but education, the state's child welfare agency and tourism department get more money.
You may not want to listen to your nutty neighbor badger the city council about chemtrails or aliens, First Amendment advocates say allowing public comments—even wacky comments—is essential. A bill moving through the state Legislature would make it the law.
There have been more than 300,000 civilian gun deaths in the United States in the last 10 years. That’s right up there with the number of military casualties in the nation’s biggest wars. The country's surgeon general says gun violence is a public health issue.
But in rural parts of New Mexico, many people use guns as tools in their daily lives.
"This is my 12-gauge shotgun, and I’ll say it’s definitely the most versatile tool in the gun cabinet," Billy Ogle said. "And you can take anything from the smallest game to the largest game in North America down."
The cost of tuition at New Mexico public universities is rising and more students are taking advantage of the lottery scholarship, which pays almost full tuition for qualifying students—but fewer people are buying the scratch-off tickets that fuel the scholarship fund.
That’s one of the factors contributing to a slow-building crisis in scholarship funding.
Designer and educator Melissa Lea Beasley wants to build a fashion industry here in New Mexico. Melissa and the organization she founded, the Albuquerque Apparel Center, have invited designers and fashion professionals from around the state, and around the country, to the Albuquerque Convention Center on March 25-29 for the second annual New Mexico Fashion Week. One of the goals of Fashion Week, Melissa says, is to bring area designers together with the
Groups Sue Feds Over Drilling In Northwest New Mexico - The Associated Press
A coalition of environmental groups is suing the federal government over the approval of oil and gas drilling permits in northwestern New Mexico.
The groups filed their lawsuit Wednesday as they prepared to rally at the State Capitol. They contend that more development and hydraulic fracturing could harm the environment and sites such as the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
The suit names the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Interior Department.
Many counties and municipalities in New Mexico have passed restrictions on mining, oil and gas that go beyond state laws. These are things like: dictating how close wells can be to homes or imposing weight limits on trucks.
A controversial bill (HB 366) that would limit that local control, and give the state exclusive power over all matters relating to oil and gas, passed the House Tuesday.
Should Los Alamos National Labs and Los Alamos County be held to the Clean Water Act standards for stormwater runoff that ends up in the Rio Grande? That’s the question the Environmental Protection Agency is weighing. A public comment period on the matter will begin soon.
After mass-casualty shootings, the national debate often focuses on preventing people with mental illness from buying guns. But at the forum hosted by UNM’s Psychiatry Department this week, researchers said that might not be the smartest way to decrease gun violence in America—or in New Mexico.
Lawmakers in Santa Fe are considering proposals that would raise the state's minimum wage. The cities of Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces have already done this and lawmakers are also reviewing a measure that would prevent more cities from raising their minimum wages.
Who benefits from an increase in the minimum wage? Who is harmed? And at what point does a minimum wage equal a living wage?
We'd like to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org, post your comments online or call in live during the show.
NM Senate Panel Votes No On Right-To-Work Bill - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal
A Senate panel has stopped the advance of a right-to-work bill that has drawn scores of people to the State Capitol for hours of hearings.
The Public Affairs Committee voted 5-3 yesterday to block a bill that prohibits requiring workers to join a union or to pay dues as a condition of employment and includes a 50-cent-per-hour minimum wage increase.
KUNM's Chris Boros chatted with Gwyneth Doland on recent news from the state legislature as part of our People, Power and Democrayc reporting project. Our partners are New Mexico In Depth and New Mexico PBS.
KUNM: Let’s start with the two bills that would restrict abortions. One would ban abortions later in pregnancy and another would require teens to notify their parents. The Catholic bishops are pushing this hard and so are groups that oppose abortions who tried for the ban in Albuquerque last year.
Three groups called for homeless people and people with mental illnesses to be represented in the process to reform the Albuquerque Police Department. Last week the groups filed a motion in federal court.
KUNM's Public Health New Mexico reporting project has been investigating Albuquerque Police Department shooting deaths with an eye on behavioral health issues. This week, we’re looking at officer mental health.
Paul Ielacqua was an APD Aviation officer from 2001 to 2008 but has worked in law enforcement—at the Bernalillo County jail and Conchas Lake—since 1996. He talked to KUNM about how police handle their own mental wellness in high-stress situations.