Hydrogen is a false climate solution

Indigenous communities in New Mexico have long dealt with the negative impacts of experimental energy projects promoted by state and federal governments. 

This legislative session, as the state faces a climate crisis that is already disproportionately impacting Indigenous, low-income, and communities of color, the stakes of energy policies are higher than ever. 

Why, then, is New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham touting the hydrogen fuel industry, which is nothing short of a scheme to subsidize oil and gas companies and keep the state dangerously reliant on fossil fuels? 

Related:

Striving toward net zero, New Mexico grapples with role of hydrogen

The governor’s proposed “Hydrogen Hub Act” promotes hydrogen as a clean energy solution. But 96 percent of hydrogen production in the U.S. requires fossil fuels, and burning hydrogen is worse for the environment than burning coal. 

Hydrogen development will only exacerbate the climate crisis the state is facing, while distracting state agencies from investing in meaningful climate solutions and renewable energy projects, like solar and wind. 

As leaders in an Indigenous organization whose members and communities would be directly impacted by hydrogen development, we have taken a stand against all false climate solutions in New Mexico, including hydrogen, and are calling on the Governor to stop sacrificing our lands, waters, and communities. 

Hydrogen is currently produced using methane gas – the “gas” in oil and gas. Converting methane to hydrogen promotes more fracking in our communities and releases carbon dioxide in the process. To boot, converting methane to hydrogen requires enormous amounts of energy, energy that today mainly comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Where will these fossil fuels come from?

To create opportunities tomorrow, NM must embrace its strengths today

New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industry is growing again, which is welcomed news to lawmakers, communities, and all people across the land of enchantment. Through challenges and changing times over the past two years, our dedication to New Mexico has been unwavering and we’re committed to doing our part to help New Mexico succeed. New Mexico’s oil and gas industry is proud to be the foundation of the state’s economy, providing thousands of jobs across our state and supporting the budget and public schools with billions in revenue. Teachers, students, first responders, and many others depend on our industry for critical resources to support learning, develop the next generation of leaders, and keep our communities healthy and safe. Our state’s role as an energy producer and leader was underscored earlier this year by our ascension to the second-largest oil producer in the United States while remaining the eighth-largest producer of natural gas.

Senate “buddymandering” meltdown

The New Mexico state senate approved a map last night for how its own districts will look for the next 10 years. The vote came after days of hurry up and wait, as lawmakers negotiated behind closed doors in an untransparent process. I’d give senators an “F” on two counts: they didn’t do their work in public, and they focused way too much on preserving seats for incumbent lawmakers. More on this in a moment. 

Many are calling what happened last night on the Senate floor a debate. I’d call it a meltdown.

Sheriff goes to the dark side, lobbing grim attacks with no evidence

Back in 2017, I wrote “it doesn’t get much darker” than ominous television ads attacking mayoral candidate Tim Keller, who is now Albuquerque mayor. Well, it’s gotten darker, and again Keller is the target. 

Four years ago the television ads, followed by billboards, showed an image of Keller and quickly cut to a dark figure wearing a hoodie, a classic racist trope. “Sex offender” flashed in bold red letters on the screen before cutting to a backlit child riding a bike. Essentially, the ad sought to tap unconscious racist fears and smear Keller as a sex offender at the same time. Media outlets, including New Mexico In Depth, found no basis in the charge.

Herrell must stop the anti-vaccine rhetoric; it’s not the time for politics

Republican 2nd District Congresswoman Yvette Herrell made news earlier this week for signing on to co-sponsor legislation that would withhold federal dollars from schools and universities that mandate COVID vaccinations before students, teachers, staff faculty can attend.  

Don’t fret. The bill will not become law. Filed by Republican Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, it has attracted 10 co-sponsors, all GOP lawmakers in a U.S. House controlled by Democrats. It’s “message” legislation that positions Herrell in the escalating cultural war over COVID. 

But it’s a dangerous time to play politics. The more contagious Delta variant is sweeping the nation as schools and colleges and universities are preparing to return for the fall term.

Lawmakers continue secret spending

Government transparency is more than good, it’s essential. The dark corners of government make it difficult for the people (as in, all of us) to exercise our right and our duty to ensure those we elect are governing in our best interest. 

In a cash-strapped state like New Mexico, transparency in how elected officials spend public money is even more important. For that reason, we applaud the publication of a list of how individual lawmakers spent public infrastructure funds under their control. Lawmakers have long resisted making that information public, but finally relented this year after sustained public pressure. We’ll be able to see the so-called capital outlay spending of individual lawmakers from now on.

Los dos hospitales tienen tasas de mortalidad infantil similares, hasta que se observa a los bebés extremadamente prematuros

Read in English. Nota: Este reportaje contiene la descripción de la muerte de un recién nacido. ProPublica es un medio independiente y sin ánimo de lucro que produce periodismo de investigación en pro del interés público. Suscríbete para recibir sus historias en español por correo electrónico. New Mexico In Depth es miembro de ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Era el cambio de turno de la mañana en el Hospital de Mujeres Lovelace de Albuquerque, Nuevo México.

Cómo investigamos las tasas de mortalidad de los bebés extremadamente prematuros en los hospitales de maternidad más grandes de este estado

Read in English. ProPublica es un medio independiente y sin ánimo de lucro que produce periodismo de investigación en pro del interés público. Suscríbete para recibir sus historias en español por correo electrónico. New Mexico In Depth es miembro de ProPublica Local Reporting Network. En una investigación que llevaron a cabo New Mexico In Depth y ProPublica durante un año, se descubrió que los bebés más pequeños y prematuros nacidos en el Hospital de Mujeres Lovelace de Albuquerque, morían en proporciones dobles que los de otro hospital situado a pocos kilómetros de distancia, el Hospital Presbiteriano (Presbyterian Hospital). 

Los dos hospitales tienen tasas de mortalidad infantil similares, hasta que se observa a los bebés extremadamente prematuros

El hospital Lovelace, institución con fines de lucro, y el Presbyterian, organización sin fines de lucro, son los mayores centros de maternidad de Nuevo México. Fuentes de los datos

Los datos más completos sobre los resultados hospitalarios de bebés recién nacidos quedan recopilados en la Red Oxford Vermont (Vermont Oxford Network, VON), una colaboración internacional de investigación de unidades de cuidados intensivos neonatales.

Dark money 3

Political spending transparency bill clears Senate

The Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would close a “loophole” in the state’s transparency laws, and would require legislators running for federal office to disclose their contributions every 10 days during the legislative session. The loophole allows nonprofit organizations to avoid disclosing donors behind political spending if those giving the money requested in writing that their donations not be spent for political purposes, even if the group decides to use the money for politics anyway. The amended SB 387 ultimately passed the Senate on a 35-3 vote after clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee last Friday, where State Ethics Commission Executive Director Jeremy Farris spoke in favor of the bill. The bill now heads to the House for consideration. “I think it closes the gap,” said Farris, noting that Wirth’s bill was similar to recommendations the commission made in its 2020 annual report.