Last updated on Tuesday March 28, 2017 4:55 PM Socorro Electric Coop. Archives Important Links Selected Nat'l News Environment and Wildlife Gila River and forest Private Public Partnerships Augustin Plains Ranch

March 28, 2017
1913 The German government announces a raise in taxes to finance the new military budget.

Jared Kushner flew to Aspen same day as ‘one of Putin’s closest confidants’ whose wife is pals with Ivanka. ... Flight logs show that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, traveled to Aspen, Colorado on the same day as a Russian oligarch with strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Raw Story

As Jared Kushner ascends White House ladder, Senate Russia inquiry adds scrutiny. ... Trump’s son-in-law will lead Office of American Innovation to privatize certain government functions, as he agrees to testify in Russia election investigation.

White House Announces Jared Kushner Is Now Responsible For Everything. ... Kushner has been tapped to run an entirely new office with the “sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises ? such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction.”. Huffington  

That long-promised executive order rolling back Obama’s environmental regulations is on its way. .. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told This Week’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that President Trump will sign the “pro-growth and pro-environment” directive on Tuesday. Grist  

As Trump's Denialists Get to Work, the Climate Is Changing 170 Times Faster. TruthOut

Extinction risk from climate change - A recent study, Extinction Risk from Climate Change, published in the prestigious journal Nature, shows that half the species on Earth today will likely disappear by the middle of the century -- within 33 years. Nature

A new report from the US Department of Energy is going to make the argument that green energy isn’t good for the economy a little harder for the incoming White House administration. IFL Science  

March 27, 2017
1866 President Andrew Johnson vetoes the civil rights bill, which later becomes the 14th amendment

Noam Chomsky sounded a dire warning on Monday ... saying that President Donald Trump could stage a “false flag” terror attack in an effort to consolidate his power and strip Americans of their constitutional rights. RawStory

The Feuding Kleptocrats. ... The Trump kleptocrats are political arsonists. They are carting cans of gasoline into government agencies and Congress to burn down any structure or program that promotes the common good and impedes corporate profit.

The DLC Lives: "Third Way" Democrats Are Trying to Push the Party Rightward. ... For many years, Democrats proudly associated themselves with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a powerful group founded in the 1980s that sought to build a Democratic Party "liberated"­ from labor and grounded in "support for free market and free trade economics ... an end to the politics of 'entitlement' [and] a rejection of affirmative action.". TruthOut

Related: Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates. ... CounterPunch  

Kochs Bankroll Move to Rewrite the Constitution. ... A constitutional convention, something thought impossible not long ago, is looking increasingly likely. Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, if 34 state legislatures “issue a call” for a constitutional convention, Congress must convene one. By some counts, the right-wing only needs six more states. Once called, delegates can propose and vote on changes and new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which, if approved, are currently required to be ratified by 38 states. Exposed

Trump’s War on Terror Has Quickly Become as Barbaric and Savage as He Promised. ... Trump’s “war on terror” has entailed the seemingly indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people in the name of killing terrorists. In other words, Trump has escalated the 16-year-old core premise of America’s foreign policy — that it has the right to bomb any country in the world where people it regards as terrorists are found — and in doing so, has fulfilled the warped campaign pledges he repeatedly expressed. The Intercept  

Project-X ... A top-secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to Titanpointe, the site of a hidden partnership. Narrated by Rami Malek and Michelle Williams, and based on classified NSA documents, Project X reveals the inner workings of a windowless skyscraper in downtown Manhattan. Video  

March 26, 2017
1804 Congress orders the removal of Indians east of the Mississippi River to Louisiana.
1938 Goering warns all Jews to leave Austria.
1942 - Jews being shipped to Auschwitz

2017 Legislative Session Results In Historic Victories For A Better Democracy In NM!
NM Common Cause

Donald Trump’s Rise Has Coincided With an Explosion of Hate Groups. ... The president’s rhetoric should sound familiar to anyone who lived through the 1990s paramilitary-style “Patriot” movements.
The Nation

At Airwars we've been modelling Coalition airstrike data since the start of operations in August 2014, enabling us to comprehensively model over time the war against Daesh. All of our graphs and tables are based on official data releases from the Coalition, and from individual member nations. Air Wars  

The Resistance Now: robots join the movement. ...Barack Obama defends Affordable Care Act as protesters mobilize across US; thousands sign petition to keep PBS funding; anti-transgender bus defaced. Guardian  

Yuval Noah Harari: ‘Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so’ .. Harari sets out on that first page a condensed history of the universe, followed by a summary of the book’s thesis: how the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution and the scientific revolution have affected humans and their fellow organisms. Guardian  

Inside Trump's War on the Traditional Media. ...Since his declaration that the media is the "enemy of the people," White House correspondents have been battling to maintain their position in the new America. Trump is giving them competition by filling the press corps with trolls and a new wave of right-wing media.

Report: Anxiety Disorders Induced By Trump Presidency Not Covered Under GOP Health Bill.
The Onion

March 25, 2017
1655 Puritans jail Gov. Stone after a military victory over Catholic forces in the colony of Maryland.

Weekend Read:
Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.

... Jane Mayer discusses the results of the most recent election and Donald Trump's victory, and how, despite much discussion to the contrary, this was a huge victory for the billionaires who have been pouring money in the American political system.
 Dark Money

Senate Passes Bill Allowing Internet Service Providers to Sell Your Internet History to the Highest Bidder. ... The bill, which allows ISP’s to sell the data they have to corporations, is much more minimal than already established laws handing that same power to corporations and the government. The reality is that ISP’s really don’t have that much information on their users. Ring of Fire  

Ivanka's lawyer, a Democrat, defends herself. ... Jamie Gorelick, a veteran of President Bill Clinton's Justice Department and a Hillary Clinton supporter, explains why she's working for Trump's daughter now. Politico  

Putin tells Le Pen Russia has no plans to meddle in French election. ... Far-right candidate in French presidential election reaffirms support for dropping EU sanctions on Russia after meeting in Moscow. ... Vladimir Putin has received Marine Le Pen in the Kremlin in a surprise move likely to reignite fears in Europe about Russian support for the European far right. ... Putin told Le Pen Russia had no intention of meddling in the French presidential elections, though the meeting is likely to send the opposite message. Guardian  

Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper. ... The United States is now moving from Fortress America to a Garrison State. By every conceivable measure, the Trump administration is tearing out the vitals, like an enraged tiger out for blood (for no other reason than destruction of what serves and benefits the citizenry), of a social-welfare and environmentally supportive society.

“You’d better make sure that car’s bullet-proof!” An account of our recent trip to Honduras. ... My taxi was pulling into the carpark of the Honduran Environment Ministry when I got a phone call from the UN. ‘You probably shouldn’t go to that meeting’, they said, ‘the Environment Minister just called for your colleague Billy’s immediate arrest on live TV. GlobalWitness

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Trips Are More Expensive Than Meals On Wheels. ... Trump has already spent enough on trips to Mar-A-Lago this year to pay for nearly 6,000 people to get Meals on Wheels for an entire year. Each weekend, that number jumps higher, and by the end of the year, he will have spent more on personal trips to Trump-owned properties than we spend on the Meals on Wheels program each year. The Ring of Fire  

March 24, 2017
Born today: 1755 Rufus King, framer of the Constitution.

Jane Mayer on Robert Mercer & the Dark Money Behind Trump and Bannon. ... (a) look at the man who is said to have out-Koched the Koch brothers in the 2016 election. His name is Robert Mercer, a secretive billionaire hedge-fund tycoon who, along with his daughter Rebekah, is credited by many with playing an instrumental role in Donald Trump’s election. Democracy Now

The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency. ... How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency. ... During the past decade, Mercer, who is seventy, has funded an array of political projects that helped pave the way for Trump’s rise. Among these efforts was public-opinion research, conducted by Caddell, showing that political conditions in America were increasingly ripe for an outsider candidate to take the White House. Caddell told me that Mercer “is a libertarian—he despises the Republican establishment,” and added, “He thinks that the leaders are corrupt crooks, and that they’ve ruined the country.” New Yorker

Trump Administration to Kill Fracking Rule on Public Lands. ... Trump disagrees with majority of Americans, who are opposed to fracking and drilling on public lands. ... Trump Administration to Kill Fracking Rule on Public Lands Trump disagrees with majority of Americans, who are opposed to fracking and drilling on public lands. AlterNet  

State Department Approves Keystone XL Pipeline
The battle now moves to Nebraska, which must approve or reject a Keystone section.. ... Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon on Friday signed a presidential permit for the controversial project ahead of a Monday deadline for evaluating it. Huffington Post

Broadcast News Abandons Climate Change Coverage, Study Finds. ... And wasn’t because of a lack of newsworthy events. ...ABC, NBC CBS and Fox News Sunday collectively devoted two-thirds less time to coverage of climate change than they did in 2015, ... Huffington Post

Release of Arctic Methane "May Be Apocalyptic," Study Warns. ... A scientific study published in the prestigious journal Palaeoworld in December issued a dire -- and possibly prophetic -- warning, though it garnered little attention in the media. ... "Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic," reads the study's abstract. "But the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic."   TruthOut  

Israel’s Human Rights Spies. ... A fascinating expose in Ha’aretz reveals how, in the mid-1970s – not long after the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights – Israel used university faculty members to infiltrate Amnesty International.  CounterPunch  

(Sounds like President Trump) When an Israeli Minister Threatens a Newspaper ... A minister who threatens his critics in such a fashion cannot serve in his position in a democratic state. ... A straight lines passes through the video clip broadcast yesterday – in which a police officer is seen brutally beating Palestinian drivers in East Jerusalem and threatening them in the foulest of language – and the verbal attacks against Haaretz by the minister responsible for the police, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.  Haaraetz  

March 23, 2017
1933 Hitler given the power to rule by decree.

The Culture of Cruelty in Trump's America. ... For the last 40 years, the United States has pursued a ruthless form of neoliberalism that has stripped economic activity from ethical considerations and social costs. One consequence has been the emergence of a culture of cruelty...

The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency. ... How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency. ... During the past decade, Mercer, who is seventy, has funded an array of political projects that helped pave the way for Trump’s rise. Among these efforts was public-opinion research, conducted by Caddell, showing that political conditions in America were increasingly ripe for an outsider candidate to take the White House. Caddell told me that Mercer “is a libertarian—he despises the Republican establishment,” and added, “He thinks that the leaders are corrupt crooks, and that they’ve ruined the country.” New Yorker

Neil Gorsuch, Backed by $10 Million in Dark Money, Refuses to Weigh In on Citizens United.
Democracy Now

US Pressures G20 Into Dropping Climate Reference from Joint Statement. ... 'Climate change is out for the time being,' said one anonymous German official.
Common Dreams  

Corporate Media Is Part Of The War Machine, And They’re Ready For Another Conflict. ... Have you ever wondered why companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin – military defense contractors – advertise their companies on outlets like Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC? Do they expect viewers to go out and buy missiles and fighter jets? The Ring of Fire  

According to American linguist and political activist, Noam Chomsky, media operate through 5 filters: ownership, advertising, the media elite, flak and the common enemy. Video

EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS: The disturbing secret history of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner . ... Official disciplinary records have been hidden from public scrutiny until now. Think Progress

March 22, 2017
1895 - Auguste & Louis Lumiere first demonstrated motion pictures in Paris.

Inside How the Federalist Society & Koch Brothers Are Pushing for Trump to Reshape Federal Judiciary. ... All eyes are on the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, who is facing his second day of confirmation hearings. But Trump has 123 other federal judgeships to fill, because Senate Republicans blocked many of Obama’s nominees. Democracy Now

Newly Obtained Documents Prove: Key Claim of Snowden’s Accusers Is a Fraud. ... For almost four years, a cottage industry of media conspiracists has devoted itself to accusing Edward Snowden of being a spy for either Russia and/or China at the time he took and then leaked documents from the National Security Agency. There has never been any evidence presented to substantiate this accusation.

British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money. ... Exclusive: Billions of dollars were moved out of Russia in ‘Global Laundromat’ operation, with anonymously owned UK companies playing major role. Guardian  

Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering scam. ... Deutsche Bank among western institutions that processed billions of dollars in cash of ‘criminal origin’ through Latvia.

(September 2014)  The Fake Terror Threat Used To Justify Bombing Syria. ... As the Obama Administration prepared to bomb Syria without congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the “homeland.” A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval. Intercept  

Trump sends lawyers after teen for site where kittens can punch POTUS. A 17-year-old is the target of legal attention by President Donald Trump’s general counsel over a site where kitten paws bat around images of President Trump’s face... RawStory

Frightbart: The View From Steve Bannon’s Propaganda Site Will Scare the Bejeezus Out of You... Which Is Its Point. .. A heavy-handed take on how the world is going to hell.

Trump's Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Insists Cutting Meals for Poor Seniors is Compassionate. ... Trump has unveiled his 2018 budget proposal to Congress, which calls for an unprecedented $54 billion increase in military spending while slashing environmental, housing, diplomatic and educational programs, and calling for the outright elimination of 19 agencies. Democracy Now

March 21, 2017
In 1965- Selma to Montgomery march begins

The CIA’s Primary Objective is to Preserve Its Own Existence, Not to Protect U.S. Citizens. ... So what is the CIA’s primary purpose? Essentially, to stay in business. This is according to a former CIA counter-terrorism officer and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Ring of Fire  

UNRIVALED Surveillance State Monitors Every American Citizen! – Redacted Tonight. ... Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp delves into our twisted and all-encompassing Surveillance State. One week ago it came out that the CIA has been spying on Americans through, not only our phones, but even our smart TVs and cars. The Ring of Fire  

Why does House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (Rep. VA) want to fast-track legislation overhauling civil litigation that protects all Americans—including those in his Congressional District, who simply wish to have their day in court when wrongfully injured or cheated by the very corporations to whom Chairman Goodlatte is beholden? Does he distrust judges and juries that have fairly adjudicated disputes for years? Does he hate the American people?
Ralph Nader

How 'dirty money' from Russia flooded into the UK – and where it went. ... Exclusive: Investigators in eastern Europe have uncovered a trail that leads to fur brokers, Bond Street jewellers and even a Somerset school.  Guardian  

Amid Spike in Civilian Deaths from U.S. Strikes, Trump Requests Lifting Policy Limiting Casualties. ... On Thursday, a U.S. Reaper drone struck a gathering in a rebel-held village in Aleppo province, killing as many as 49 people. Monitoring groups say most of the dead were civilians who had gathered at a mosque to pray, while the Pentagon claims the gathering was a meeting of al-Qaeda members. Democracy Now

How Senators Might Get the Goods on Gorsuch; The Reclusive Billionaire Behind Breitbart and Trump.
Bill Moyers  

Network of wealthy Russians has sunk $100m into Donald Trump's luxury developments. ... The President recently insisted he has 'no deals in Russia' but investigations show lengthy list of major investments by Russian elite in his property empire.

Archived News: 
    Jan. 2017     Feb.2017  Mar. 2017

Scorching Hot Southwest Is Climate
Change In Action
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(click NM and scroll in)
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New Mexico Fire Alerts
Fire restrictions and closures
Magdalena Smoke Monitoring
(Select date to view data)



[NEW] March 26, 2017 - You Decide...Interbasin water transfers are they needed? If a land owner who has a large ranch decides that he can make more money by selling the water under his land than he can by raising cattle on
that land should he have the right to do so?
Download Commentary from Dennis Inman, Geologist.

March 22, 2017 -
he 2017 Legislative session is over, and you might like to know about what directly affected us. As you are all probably aware by now, Don Tripp was re-elected in November, 2016 but abruptly resigned in January of 2017. The Governor appointed Gail Armstrong in his place. Gail immediately went to bat for us, and here's how.

1) Sponsored HB 418, Inter-Basin Water Right Transfer Requirements. This bill, which passed several committees and made it to the floor of the House of Representatives, would have regulated massive water transfers had it become law. Howard Hutchinson worked with Rep. Armstrong as did Douglas Meiklejohn, our attorney, and they will continue working on a bill to be brought before a new session of the Legislature.

2) Opposed HB 275 Public-Private Partnerships Act. Although a brand new legislator, Rep. Armstrong voted against this act because her constituents opposed it. If you remember, this P3 Act would have greatly benefited the Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC which has been pushing their public-private partnership idea from day one. (See their website ) It took a great deal of courage for Rep. Armstrong to oppose this bill, and we owe her a debt of gratitude.

A note of interest:
Representative Gail Armstrong will be a speaker at the April annual meeting of the San Augustin Water Coalition. Mark April 29 on your calendar and plan to be at that meeting.

Other matters before the Legislature included a bill sponsored by our Senator Howie Morales. SB 340 would have, had it become law, provided oversight of the federal funds the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) has been spending on a diversion of the Gila River. Below is an analysis of what the law would do.

"SB340 would require legislatively approved budgets for use of the NM Unit Fund and force the ISC to report the details of its actual and planned uses of the fund. To date, the ISC has spent $11 million fruitlessly in the absence of real legislative budget oversight. The ISC needs to provide basic information on technical feasibility, water yield and associated water users, project cost and financing before spending more money on a NM Unit project."

Sadly this measure failed, but we can hope that the ISC got the message: squandering millions of dollars is not acceptable. Carol Pittman. Download March 22 update

March 19, 2017 -
Report From Santa Fe - KNEW - Laura Paskus and Peggy Johnson on WATER in NM Video

March 15, 2017 - Congressman Steve Pearce is hosting a Town Hall for constituents of New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District.

When: Saturday March 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm MST
Where: New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
Download information and questions to ask Pearce

March 9, 2017 -
Magdalena school board amends water grab protest... At the regularly scheduled Feb. 13 meeting the board had discussed in executive session withdrawing a letter filed with the Office of the State Engineer protesting the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC planned project to pump water from the San Augustin aquifer. Chieftain  

Bill HB 418, (Water Transfers) was not heard in Committee yesterday as scheduled - update on this later.

March 3, 2017 - New Documents related to Agustain Plains area and Magdalena water:

Magdalena - The day the water dried: (Updated April 2014) A hydrogeologic perspective.  

March 2, 2017 -
How much water does New Mexico actually have? ... When it comes to revising water laws in New Mexico, nothing realistic can be done until we know how much — and where — the groundwater is.. Chieftain  

March 1, 2017 -
Update to the House Bills below:

Webcast of hearings click here  
Status of HB418 .. Substitute Bill HB 418:
Added sections....para 3 (e)...and Para F
(3) temporary transfers of no longer than two

F. For the purposes of this section:
(1) "area of origin" means the physical
location of a ground water aquifer, the boundaries of which are reasonably ascertainable and which may or may not coincide with the administrative boundaries of ground water basins established by the state engineer; and

(2) "transfer" means the transport of water for use in a location more than thirty-five miles from the area

Report: Inter-basin Water Transfers: "Upon initial consideration, interbasin transfer of water has enormous appeal. Indeed, many of the regional water plans offer vague references to receiving water from adjacent basins. However, a more thorough examination reveals that there are often few details to support these transfers..” ... Report by Professor Bruce Thomson, Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico. 2010-Inter-basin Water Transfers  

HB 418, a bill that will be heard TOMORROW (Thursday, March 2, 1:30pm)
March 3 - UPDATE: Bill as not heard in committee March 2nd. in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. This bill will put into place regulations regarding WATER TRANSFERS, regulations that are long overdue.

Let the Chairman and/or Committee member Candy Ezzell know your thoughts on this bill.

Chairman Matthew McQueen

Member Candy Ezzell

Full list of Committee Members

More information on HB-418:
Introduced by Gail Armstrong:
Relating to water; requiring additional requirements for approval of permits for the diversion and use of ground water from the basin of origin for use outside the basin of origin. See bill here or download

March 1, 2017 -
Legislative Staff Assessment:
According to OSE analysis, prohibiting federal land management agencies from owning surface water rights for livestock watering could have significant negative unintended consequences ...
HB-472-Staff Assessment - full report

February 27, 2017 -
The bill for public/private partnerships – HB 275 – was just defeated in committee. Gail Armstrong, our representative, voted against the bill. She explained that while she liked the bill, her constituents had serious concerns about it and she voted for their concerns – against the bill. Please take the time to thank her. or call 505-986-4467. You might also mention your support or opposition to the bills below at the same time.

Vote just finished. Meeting adjourned

Other legislation of concern for this area:

HB-380 - Introduced by our Rep. Gail Armstrong:
Relating to Rural Electric cooperatives; Allowing mail-in or proxy ballots to count toward establishing a quorum.
Download the bill or
visit NM government website here for more details.
Readers may remember this was a critical issue at the recent co-op annual meetings as the board tried to disqualify voters.

HB-472: Relating to water rights administration: providing definitions; limiting livestock water rights holders; prohibiting the state engineer from enforcing or administering conditions placed on permitted land to require transfer of private water rights to a government land management agency excepting sales of water rights; exempting livestock water rights from forfeiture where the right is appurtenant to land under a current lease or permit.
Download the bill or
visit NM government website here for more details:
We will have more on this legislation after it is reviewed.

A good source of on-going information on what is happening in SF is at The Candle

February 24, 2017 -
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships ...
This being the age of public relations, the genteel term “public-private partnership” is used instead of corporate plunder. A “partnership” such deals may be, but it isn’t the public who gets the benefits. ... Public-private partnerships are nothing more than a variation on straightforward schemes to sell off public assets below cost, with working people having to pay more for reduced quality of service. CounterPunch   Or Download

- May 10, 2013 -
Financialising Household Water
(UK Report)  
November 23, 2016 -
Economic Policy Inst. on Trump Infrastructure Plan.

Food and Water Watch Reports:
- July 2011- Water=Life: How Privatization undermines the Human right to Water.
- Water Privatization: Facts and Figures  
- 2016 Report on State of Public Water in the U.S.
- 2010 Report - Brief on Water P3 Issues & Difficulties

February 22, 2017 -
US EPA Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center National Governors Association State Planning Retreat on Public Private Partnerships.
April 2016 Report

2017 - 53rd Legislaton:
Senate Mail List    -  House Mail List  

February 19, 2017 -

You Had Me At H2O: A look at who owns your water supply ... Get curious about how your water gets to you, before private companies pull the plug. MuchRock  

America can’t trust public water, so it’s turning to private companies. - While most Americans don’t have to think too hard about whether their water is safe to drink or not, people in Camden, New Jersey are used to not having clean water

From the BLM:
Improving the Way We Plan Together
As part of our continuing commitment to improve our management of the nation’s public lands, the Bureau of Land Management is reviewing the way we develop and update our Resource Management Plans (RMPs).

This initiative, known as Planning 2.0, aims to increase public involvement and incorporate the most current data and technology into our land use planning.
BLM Plan 2.0 presentation 
Plan 2.0 FAQ sheet

Cynic Comment: Under the current administration BLM efforts could be negatively revised by using an esoteric Congressional procedure to sabotage BLM efforts.

Republicans Are Using An Arcane Tool To Handcuff Federal Agencies... And it could have long-term consequences.  Huffington    An example just out today... GOP Wants NASA To Stop Worrying About Earth And Focus On Space ... There are talks of “rebalancing” the agency’s mission as it continues to tweet about climate change.  Huffington  

The Cynic is developing a new webpage that follows the Trump/GOP administration"disappearing" federal data and negative revisions to existing legislation, rules, and regulations. Click Here

February 17, 2017 -
We are still tracking HB 275, the Public/Private Partnership bill. Sadly, the House Transportation, Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee recommended a Do Pass, a big setback for us.

Next in line is a hearing at the House Labor and Economic Development Committee. OUR REPRESENTATIVE, GAIL ARMSTRONG, IS ON THAT COMMITTEE. You can do one quick thing: phone Representative Armstrong’s office and ask that she vote NO on HB 275. Her phone number is 505-269-2364. I usually call very early and leave a message. It is our numbers that matter, so the more people who call the better. It will take about 30 seconds!

Gail Armstrong website

February 15, 2017 -
From Conservation Voter of New Mexico -
Public-Private Partnerships (HB 275) seeks to give private companies control of New Mexico's critical public services - including our water.

A dangerous bill that could put your critical public services, like water, has again been introduced in the State House. ... Last seen in 2015, Public-Private Partnerships (now HB 275, Larrañaga/Cisneros) is a sweeping measure that would privatize projects that are most appropriately developed and maintained by public entities. In 2015, you raised your voice and we were able to stop the bill. Together, we can do it again.

HB 275 first, and it has powerful support in the legislature. If you speak up now, we can stop this dangerous "blank check" legislation in its tracks.
Public-private partnership, or P3, is a catch-all term for any project that partners government with private business. Generally speaking, the more heavily the private sector is involved, the riskier the project is for the public - in financial, social and environmental terms. Examples from across the country and right here in New Mexico have proven the need to take a very cautious approach to P3s.

Private companies are pushing hard to expand P3s in our state. HB 275 is one of the broadest, if not the broadest, pieces of P3 legislation in the country.

Follow this link to CVNM Action center and send your representative a message

Download this action alert  

February 15, 2017 -
This bulletin came in too late to be effective, but never-the-less... Rep. Pearce is having a call-in Town Hall TODAY. If you can't make the call, please email him ... he's in the process of giving away public lands. .

Signup website click here

Pearce Town Hall Bulletin  .

[NEW] February 12, 2017 -
Draft of memo from From:
AFSCME, AFT, NM Building Trades Council (15 affiliated unions), CVNM, CWA, Food & Water Watch, NEA-NM, NM Environmental Law Center, NM Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO), Sierra Club, and Voices for Children.
To: NM Legislation
Re: Please OPPOSE House Bill 275 (Allowing Privatization of all Public Services and Infrastructure) and SUPPORT Senate Bill 143 (Narrower Public Private Partnership bill)
. 021317-AFSCME Memo

February 11, 2017 -
A cautionary tale from 2012:
How the Private Water Industry Is Teaming Up With ALEC ... ALEC has worked with the energy industry to create loophole-filled water protections and opposes federal oversight of fracking.

Profiting from Public Dollars: How ALEC and Its Members Promote Privatization of Government Services and Assets. Public Interest  

ALEC -The Water/Wastewater Utility Public-Private Partnership Act. (This is where your NM representatives get the text of P3 legislation)
ALEC-Sample Legislation

February 11, 2017 -
California water venture tied to Trump sees prospects rise after years of setbacks. ... Until Trump won the presidency, prospects looked bleak for Cadiz, a California company that has struggled for years to secure federal permits to transform Mojave Desert groundwater into liquid gold. McClatchyDC  
NB: the above article references the infamous "Emergency Infrastructure" list of critical projects in the 2nd paragraph (see January 27th commentary below). This is an example of very bad reporting using a fake list to generate an "exclusive".Always follow the money.

[NEW]  February 10, 2017 -
Quick note on legislation that requires fast action
in the form of a call or email to Santa Fe to make sure all of the following 5 Democrats are all present to vote against HB275  . (See below for more information) The main talking point about HB 275 is that it allows for privatization of virtually everything in government, including schools, water utilities, solid waste, waste water, watersheds, habitat restoration, and everything else done by state and local government. It's by far the broadest bill in America, and is terrible for any number of reasons (each activist group here will have their own reasons for not wanting to privatize government). The Legislature should appoint a commission to review all P3 bills and that commission should report to the Legislature. We need to emphasize that the lack of adequate oversight is enough by itself to defeat the bill. In addition, all reference to water projects should be removed.
These are the critical representatives: .

Chairman Bobby Gonzales (D-Taos) 505-986-4333

Vice Chair Moe Maestas (D-West side ABQ) 505-986-4438

Patty Lundstrom (D-Gallup) 505-986-4316

Harry Garcia (D-Grants) 505-986-4433 (note: shared phone with Ruiloba)

Pat Ruiloba (D-Albuquerque) 505-986-4433

ALEC is the source of this legislation. Through ALEC, global corporations are scheming to rewrite your rights and boost their revenue. Alec Exposed

There are several articles about P3's on this website. Note, Larry Larrañaga was at one time on the ALEC Federalism and International Relations Task force, but no longer listed. A search for Larrañaga in the search field above will link to stories that include him. NM representative on ALEC is Rep. Yvette Herrell

February 9, 2017 -
The Problems With Water Supply and Demand:
A disconnect between water supply and demand will always exist. The reason is that every time more water is made available to a community or state it creates an instant invitation to increase demand by way of development. Before long there is more demand for water than what was being made available. Our economic system demands that growth is essential if we are to prosper. Water is becoming like fiat money we continue to think there is more available and seem to think that if we use it up more will be found elsewhere. We never admit that there is not enough water until the well or spigot goes dry. In other words we do not live within our means. Read the rest of the commentary here  

February 7, 2017 - New found Resources:
* NM Drinking Water Allocation Program (WRAP)
OSE web page
* Who owns water. Water rights in the SW States. Published 2003 by Brian H Hurd - NM State University.
Who owns water in the SW.
* 2009 Overview of NM Ground Water Code.
Brockman Ground Water conference paper .
* 1962 - NM water law since 1955 - Clark   
* Office of State Eng. Glossary of water terms  

February 6, 2017 -
Support Reform of the (Interstate Stream Commission. This information came too late to call your the rules committee members today, but send your rep and e-mail or call will at least let them know they are being watched. (Rules Committee list)  

Today it is important to tell Senate Rules Members to Vote YES on SB157!   SB157 Analysis:   
SB157 Bill  

Senator Peter Wirth has introduced legislation (SB157) that would reform membership of the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC), the state agency charged with "developing New Mexico's waters including both interstate and intrastate stream systems."

The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee (Room 321) on Monday, February 6 at 8 am.

The bill is designed to bring objectivity and science, and less political partisanship, into New Mexico's water management decisions. The ISC has responsibility for state and regional water planning and the technically infeasible and unaffordable Gila River diversion project among many others.

ISC appointments would be shared equally between the Governor's office and legislature. The bill requires an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, two water-related technical experts from either UNM or NMSU, and representation by the variety of interests that have a stake in how water is managed, including a representative from a non-governmental conservation advocacy organization.

Please contact members of the Senate Rules Committee and ask them to vote YES on SB157.

NM Interstate Sream Commission (OSE) website  
The February 6, 2017 - news item  

February 4, 2017 -
Below is a copy of form letter from the Office of The State Engineer. Re: The Application by APR, OSE file RG89943.  It includes a copy of the "request to docket application". There were 604 "timely" Protestants. A list of all Protestants was included in the original, but not part of this file. Those listed will recive the complete document.
OSE File: RG-89943 and associated notices dated February 2, 2017   What all this means will be discussed soon.

The SB 86 - requires the State Engineer to put notices on-line. NM Gov website or Download  

February 3, 2017 -
Why is EPA chief Gina McCarthy speaking at a conference full of private water company execs?

December 2016 article on Grist  

February 1, 2017 -

Fiscal impact Report - NM Infrastructure
Investment Act

In HB 275, Section 2- H(1)(n) under definitions of a public project (page 4 of the bill) seems to fit the APR plan. HB275   It will also be important to see if some of the language in HB 275 ends up in the broadband bill in a back-door type of move as this process progresses.

Food and Water Watch here in New Mexico is also an ally opposing the P3 legislation. Below is an analysis by Food and Water Watch of the President’s proposal to privatize water and sewer systems. We need to continue watching the President’s short list of infrastructure projects to be funded. (That may be a fake) To that end we have some help from a friend in DC, and I’ll keep you posted.

Trump Attacks the Safety of Our Drinking Water - Trump’s war on the EPA endangers our drinking water. His plans to gut the agency would sacrifice key programs that support and protect our public water supplies.
Democrat Plan for Infrastructure  
Trump's infrastructure plan (Mentions APR. Not White House approved, probably a fake)

AFSCME Public services union is also watching P3 legislation in New Mexico.

Download the February 1, 2017 News  

Water Grab Archive: 2017 - 2016




2017 - 53rd Legislaton:
Senate Mail List    -  House Mail List  
Webcase of hearings
Upcoming Session Calendar

March 2, 2017=-
Co-op trustee seats on ballot - The annual membership meeting of Socorro Electric Cooperative is coming up Saturday, April 22, and besides regular business, two trustee positions will be decided. Chieftain  

February 6, 2017 -
From NM Wilderness alliance:

SB 182 will be heard at 8:00 AM on Wednesday February 8th in the Senate Education Committee. This bill is the brainchild of State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, and would seize federal minerals which are lying underneath private land in New Mexico, and give those mineral rights to the state. While the state cannot complete this action without Congressional approval, Congressman Pearce is interested and Former Senator Pete Domenici has begun lobbying Congress to get it done. SB 182 on Wednesday is the first step. Oppose!

HJM 5 will be heard in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday February 7th at 1:30 PM. This is a Memorial which would ask the Farmington BLM office to halt all additional oil and gas leasing in the field office until after the Resource Management Plan revision is completed. BLM continues to lease additional acres on BLM land in the office, including parcels relatively close to Chaco National Historical Park. With over 90% of the field office already leased, we think this Memorial presents a common sense approach. Support!

HJM 3 will be heard in the House Land Grant Committee on Tuesday February 7th at 1:30 PM. This is a Memorial which essentially opposes any additional wilderness in the Pecos. As the Memorial states itself, the Santa Fe National Forest is legally obligated during its planning process to conduct an inventory of its land for wilderness characteristics and then make a management decision about those areas. It makes those decisions based on science and on Forest Service manuals and guidance documents. Additionally, the Forest Service is already obligated to conduct an extensive public involvement process, and it has continually reached out to NGO's, local governments, land grants, and tribes (you may have seen our other recent enews announcing additional public meetings the Santa Fe National Forest is holding about this very issue). Instead of Memorials like this, the Forest Service should be encouraged by the state to continue following its existing legal obligations, and to make its determinations based on the best science available. Oppose!

February 8, 2017 -
Federal Lawmakers Renew Their Cruel and Misguided War on America's Wolves
This isn't sensible, humane or even about conservation. It is an all-out, barbaric assault on the forebears of the domesticated dog. AlterNet  

January 30, 2017 -
The West’s biggest coal plant may be about to shut down.  Grist  

SunZia project may be costly for Socorro County

The Gila River - the last free flowing river in New Mexico (Video)

September 13, 2016 -
Five ways you are subdizing meat production.
With traps, snares, poisons, gas, and aerial gunning, the USDA’s Wildlife Services has killed more than 34 million animals in the last decade to protect the livestock operations of private meat producers, according to official records. The take in 2015 alone included 68,905 coyotes, 731 bobcats, 480 bears, 385 wolves, and 284 mountain lions. More >  

September 13, 2016 -
Scientific Study Warns of "Catastrophic Declines" in Earth's Wilderness

Sept 8, 2016 - Slaughtering the Profanity Pack: Losing Wolves and Academic Freedom   

Aug 26, 2016 -
For More Wonder, Rewild The world

August 24, 2016 - News on the City of Socorro feasibility study for municipally-owned electric utility. Meanwhile:

RFI for Wholesale Electric Power Supply

RFP for City of Socorro Municipal Electric Facilities Design.

Sept 8, 2016 -
In 20 Short Years, We’ve Wiped Out 10 Percent Of Earth’s Wilderness

August 7, 2016 - Official: Wolf issues resolved (Chieftain)

August 28, 2016 -
For More Wonder, Rewild The world (video)

2014-2017 - NM Wildlife plan  
Summary version

July 18, 2016 - Cibola forest plan was released today - Click "Cibola" above for documents that related to Magdalena area.

Mark your calendars and try and attend one of these meetings!When: July 26, 5:30 - 8 pm
Magdalena High School, 201 Duggins Dr, Magdalena

Cibola Forest press release  
The 1985 forest plan to be revised  

The Republican platform committee met this week to draft the document that defines the party’s official principles and policies. .... (there is) an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of national public lands. Rest or the story here

July 11, 2016 - Federal Investigation: Wolf Program Mishandled (Abq. Journal)
" Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agriculture report".  
 Synopsis of the report  

June 16, 2016 - Judge temporarily stops wolf

June 16, 2016 - Keep politics out of wolf release

May 14, 2016 - (ABQ Journal)
State seeking to stop release of wolves

May 5, 2016 - Sheriff may try to stop wolves’ release in Socorro County - Chieftain

Important Survey:
The NM Department of Information Technology is soliciting your assistance in identifying those areas within NM having inadequate broadband service. As you all know Internet service in our area is poor.   Please take the speed test which will be logged by the Department as part of a survey. Conduct the test frequently at different times and days, at this website:

April 21, 2016 -
Chieftain article on the annual meeting  

More Electric Co-op news here


2014-2017 - NM Wildlife plan  
Summary version

February 6, 2016 -
The Battle to Save NM's Last Wild River  

January 12, 2026 - Department of the Interior and NM Central AZ Project Entity Sign Agreement to Further Evaluate a Gila River Water Project

2013 - Assessment of Climate Change
in the Southwest United States Click here

1968 - Public Law 90-537 - 90th Congress, S. 1004 - September 30, 1968:
Colorado River Basin Project: Objectives  

More Gila information here
More Cibola information here



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