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Protection of Life Requires Regulation and Enforcement. That means courage and Leadership to put the sacred before profit.

NY Skyline Before and After Passage of the Clean Air Act

Last night, in a stunning display of cowardice and corporate dominance over democracy, the Albuquerque City Council voted to override Mayor Keller's courageous veto of the Council's resolution to disband the Air Board because the Board dared to consider "cumulative impacts" when determining whether to permit new industrial sources  to protect the health of Albuquerque residents. The combined, incremental effects of industrial activity, referred to as cumulative impacts, pose a serious threat to the environment. While they may be insignificant by themselves, cumulative impacts accumulate over time, from one or more sources, and can result in the degradation of the quality of our air.

In a direct parallel to Oil Executive/COP28 President Sultan al Jaber's absurd declaration that phasing out fossil-fuels is impossible because it will hurt socioeconomic development, these City Councilors ignored the people lining up to plead for protection, ignored the health impacts of air pollution already felt by the people of their own city, ignored the fact that environmental regulations in fact increase economic prosperity, and ignored the reality that socioeconomic development is impossible without a viable ecosystem. No matter how much dirty industry cries wolf about jobs and regulatory burdens, they cannot escape the fact that every human being depends on the ecosystem for air, water and food to live. 

We woke up to the news, as well, that our Governor has announced she will seek to invest $500M for establishment of a "Strategic Water Supply" in New Mexico for the purpose of creating a market for fossil fuel waste products and bailing out the oil and gas industry. "Through a $500 million investment, New Mexico will purchase treated brackish and treated produced water to build the strategic water supply," her press release stated. 

Fracking waste disposal is a problem without a solution. While financial pressure from the oil and gas industry is mounting to find opportunities for the conversion of toxic and radioactive fracking waste, there is NO scientifically proven beneficial re-use. The Lujan Grisham administration is playing Russian roulette with our lives. The proposed fund would purchase "advanced market commitments" from water treatment startups, who will help the extraction industry solve the thorny and costly problem of dealing with an annual 2 billion barrels of toxic and radioactive "produced water" generated by their extraction wells. And yes, that blood money will also be used to help provide a water source for the Governor's pet hydrogen industry obsession, another fossil fueled false climate solution.

This Orwellian nightmare can only succeed, however, if we acquiesce. In a show of courage and conviction, the Air Quality Board has decided to continue its planned weeklong public hearing to listen to the people of Albuquerque, who are continuing to come forward each day to speak truth to power. (Comment by zoom here between 5:30 and 6:30PM. Passcode is 009378). In fact, in a case we won 13 years ago, New Energy Economy v. Shoobridge, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a court may not intervene in administrative rule-making proceedings before the adoption of a rule or regulation - this precedent should apply here - the Albuquerque City Council cannot move to disband the Air Quality Board during a rulemaking because the Council doesn't like what the Air Board is considering.

And the No False Solutions Coalition today held a press conference to deliver the New Mexico Grassroots Declaration for Climate Justice and announce that we will oppose the Governor's plans to use taxpayer dollars to fund treatment of "produced water" to bail out the oil and gas industry and prop up hydrogen production plans.


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