That’s a good tweet-length description of the State Engineer’s
information about water given to a joint hearing of Senate Conservation,
Judiciary and Finance committees on January 24th. The hearing was
sparsely attended but Conservation Chair, Senator Wirth assured the
larger audience in the gallery that many Senators were listening in
their offices. (Sure they were.) State Engineer, Scott Verhines and the
Director of the Interstate Stream Commission, Estevan Lopez, described
the offices and function before Conservation Bureau Director, John
Longworth presented sobering drought statistics. It was dry, but not
nearly as dry as New Mexico.
Water is the most important issue we talk the least about. Senator Peter Wirth
New Mexico water law is unique and the complexities are great and
growing. Scarcity, not surprisingly, is increasing costs and conflict.
The Engineer estimated the value of water rights in New Mexico at $15-16
billion dollars. Later, Senator John Smith quipped that the only thing
we have less of in New Mexico than water is money. As for conflict,
it’s epic. The attorney noted only some of the multiple lawsuits in
federal and state court. Litigation issues are scheduled to will be
presented again to the Senate Finance Committee on January 31st at 1:30, Room 322. It’ll be interesting to see just how much all that water lawyering costs.
Drought got the most focus. John Longsworth presented tragic
temperature, precipitation and reservoir data. Over 95% of our state is
in moderate to extreme drought. Reservoirs are very low with Elephant
Butte at 7% capacity. 2012 temperatures were the warmest in 118 years
and the last 24 months are the driest in 120 years. Senator Phil Griego
later described the crisis in southern New Mexico saying that more than
13,000 acres of farmland on the Pecos River have been abandoned and that
people are so desperate some are stealing hay.
Wet years have a way of covering up a multitude of water management sins. Drought exposes them for all to see.John Fleck, ABQ Journal
Among the consequences of drought to Verhine’s Office are even more
litigation and more complicated administrative decisions. He lauded his
staff’s intelligence and work ethic saying they carefully consider long
term and unintended consequences of applications. That’s good, because
there are deep consequences to the trend of transferring water to the
highest bidders. Pressures on the State Engineer for favorable rulings
are unlikely to abate, even if the drought does, and there is no end in
sight to lawsuits.
Speaking of which, the San Augustin Ranch LLC proposal for a water
transfer from Catron County to the Rio Grande was mentioned. A court had
upheld the Engineer’s initial denial of the permit but that decision was just appealed.
The case entailed the largest administrative hearing ever conducted by
any State Engineer with 900 protests to the transfer. It is not going
Solve, not fight
That’s the State Engineer’s mantra, he said. Toward the close of the
hearing Senator Wirth suggested that might be a good goal for
Reaction to an outlandish abortion bill in the New Mexico Legislature, House Bill 206 from Comedy Central:
Listen up, Land of Enchantment. First you infect our country with a
bunch of New Age-y here's-where-the-aliens-put-the-probe energy crystal
people. Then you and Walter White send us meth. Now you're becoming
Arizona junior in the nutty-legislation sphere. Are you even trying to
make this relationship work?
But The Des Moines Register shows the power of repeated rhetoric and how anger gets deflected away from our corporate masters sponsors. "Government" is ill-defined and varied - difficult to grasp at once. It's hard to understand and easy to over-simplify. The term is used in broad swipes at federal, state and local agencies, employees and programs. It's all about government.
"Palin slipped easily into the role of the voice of a movement that feels chained down by taxes, the federal deficit and an out-of-control government."
Sorry, but where does corporate greed fit in? I feel chained down by bank fees and utility rates, the intelligence deficit and an out-of-control Wall Street.
Provocatively entitled piece in the New York Times addresses how Europe "Stifles Drivers." My new job* prevents depthful debate. But know that questioning the primacy of the automobile does not mean an actual socialist European will put a pillow over your face while you're trying to drive.
Some commenters apparently feel so threatened. And then there is this good ol' planner hatred and distrust.
"... public transit here will always be revoltingly filthy and agonizingly slow, more so after "planners" have their way with it. NYC is not Geneva and will never have its level ethics, civility or order. Seems to me that "planner" types here secretly delight in making people miserable, period.
I printed and burned this comment in a delightful little secret ceremony that should give him miserable heartburn!
Thankfully, cooler heads prevail.
It's quite telling that these articles appear, then disappear, then reappear a few years later as some sort of revelation. The oil, auto and road construction industry barons own our government, and their doublespeak defines 'freedom' as the right to drive. Even if we accept the logic of mass transit vs the private car, we are so heavily invested in this illusion and presently is such economic shambles , thanks to those same pigs, that changing the system is presented as close to impossible....
Back to slacking.
* Chief Executive Slacker Extraordinaire, Whitelodge, Inc.
(Albuquerque Mayor) Berry says the $2 million would be used for small capital projects to sweeten the pot or eliminate hurdles to a new business, such as extending a pipeline.
Ah yes, the worthy pipe extension. A Journal editorial thus pays homage to construction as economic development. Extension of a new water line to the middle of nowhere will sweeten the pot. And create a tasty treat for the one that owns the pot. Well, here's another saying: Put the pipe down.
The sixth year anniversary gifts are candy and radioactive iodine. Whoops, I meant iron.
Rain falling on the United States contains radioactive material from Japan at levels that exceed federal safety thresholds. Federal officials on Tuesday urged calm in the wake of the discovery of iodine-131, which blew across the Pacific Ocean from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, in rainwater. (From Bay Citizen)
But remember not to worry. New plants will be built better. Promise?
Rain falling on the United States contains radioactive material from Japan at levels that exceed federal safety thresholds.
Federal officials on Tuesday urged calm in the wake of the discovery of iodine-131, which blew across the Pacific Ocean from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, in rainwater.
"The past is never dead. It isn't even past." William Faulkner
In twitter time the Roundhouse legislative session is ancient history. At the risk of sounding melancholic, I miss the time when last Saturday wasn't ages ago. If this was the nineteenth century, the legislators (all men) would still be drunk.
At the gavel banging Sine Die they would have emerged from the old capitol building into similar spring sunshine. The capitol in those days was an ornate domed affair* with broad steps descending northward toward the Santa Fe River and the town. From the steps speeches were delivered to assembled crowds and the Governor at the time may have spoken. Legislators may have stopped to listen or snubbed the Guv and continued on to waiting carriages.
There'd be more hats and facial hair and less bathing. The scent of pomade, horse poop, cigar smoke and body odor would be on the wind and in the hotel bar. La Fonda was precursor to the Rio Chama as primary legislative watering hole - a designation that endured well into the twentieth century.
Fabian Chavez, in the book, Taking On Giants by David Roybal, describes a 1963 confrontation in La Fonda with a liquor industry lobbyist. The powerful liquor lobby was like the oil and gas industry of the day. Chavez had attempted reform legislation that angered some. (No telling if they stormed out of committee hearings en masse.) The lobbyist got drunk and grabbed the Senator by the lapels saying, "I elected U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez. I elected Senator Clinton P. Anderson, and I own the legislature. I bought you a thousand times."
Fabian later said, "they thought that if they contributed to us, they owned us."
*The capitol was later stripped of these embellishments and renamed for an unhappy war event.
The beer. Seattle PI's Washington Beer Blog, "Everything beer in the Evergreen State" has coco news, straight from the Raven’s mouth:
The elusive Coco Jones is about to make a rare appearance. I’m not talking about my disowned second cousin, Ms. Coco Jones. Last I heard, cousin Coco was still doing two shows a night in Vegas, proudly walking on the wild side. Nope, not that Coco Jones. Today we are talking about Black Raven Brewing Company’s Coco Jones Coconut Porter.
Release Date is Tuesday March 15th. (I've never done Vegas.)
The twitter feeds aren't. Defenders of nuclear technology are out in force giving stern warnings for ninnys not to overreact and cause panic. Real men aren't afraid of isotopes and earthquakes! At the other end of the spectrum are theendoftheworld hashtaggers.
I've always loved the Amory Lovins quote about nuclear energy. He said it was like cutting butter with a chainsaw. Or it's like driving a super-charged V-12 four-wheel drive on a bike path. You only need it for the mountains but you're determined to get your money's worth and everything smaller will have to get out of the way. Sustainables? Pffft.
Overkill is messy. The wisdom of nuke use rests on overkill - the big assumption about big base power demand. We must meet big demand and demand is always growing bigger. This is the fundamental assumption of proponents - including energy companies who produce electricity.
Meet demand or grandma will die of heat exhaustion in her desert trailer! This is the same mentality that suggests huge water pipelines to the desert will be necessary to keep grandma hydrated.
At some point it makes more sense to move the trailer.