Renato Costa

Enviro-Marxists rejoice after Farmington fails to save San Juan Generating Station

“With a heavy heart,” the City of Farmington has decided to abandon its plans to salvage hundreds of jobs connected to the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) by retrofitting the plant with carbon capture technology. 

The Albuquerque Journal reported, “The city announced its decision late Tuesday to end all efforts to acquire the plant from Public Service Company of New Mexico and other co-owners after an arbitration panel for transfer negotiations refused to block PNM and the other utilities from moving forward on decommissioning and demolition preparations. The city said the arbitration panel’s position struck a ‘catastrophic blow’ to the plant conversion effort, which Farmington has pursued for more than four years with private development partner Enchant Energy Corp.”

“Given PNM’s and the other co-owners’ actions to quickly dismantle SJGS, and the (arbitration) panel’s recent decision to allow them to do so, we have arrived at a point where those actions directly undermine the viability of successful implementation of the carbon capture project,” Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett wrote in a statement.

Farmington owns a five percent stake in SJGS, which closed on September 30, 2022. 

According to PNM, the Generating Station will begin to be demolished in the spring of 2023, expected to last two to three years. 

With the closure of the San Juan Generating Station, it has purged countless jobs, with only around 80 employees able to retire. “For the rest of the employees, though, they’re going to have to go find some other form of employment,” said plant manager Omni Warner. 

The AP reports, “El Paso Electric, a utility that serves customers in southern New Mexico, also is expecting a capacity gap next summer. Like PNM, El Paso Electric will have to buy power from other producers to ensure adequate capacity when customers crank up their air conditioners during the hottest of days.”

With the critical energy plant shuddered, utilities are being forced to raise their rates, such as PNM, which is requesting to raise rates due to the enviro-Marxist “Energy Transition Act,” the state’s version of the Green New Deal signed by Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019.

After the news of the San Juan Generating Station’s imminent demolition, radical environmentalists rejoiced. 

Mike Eisenfeld, the “energy and climate program manager” with the eco-left San Juan Citizens Alliance, said, “The city needs to reevaluate its perspective on energy development and focus on renewable energy to create jobs and improve the environment.”

Herrell drops another hint about possible 2024 run

While speaking on Real America’s Voice’s “Just the News – Not Noise” with John Solomon and Amanda Head, GOP Congresswoman Yvette Herrell of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District gave another hint that she is running for the seat in 2024.

Herrell, who currently holds the position, was narrowly defeated by Democrat Gabe Vasquez, a far-leftist, in the November 8 election after Democrats gerrymandered the district to benefit Democrats. The current congressional maps are in litigation and could be overturned if they are ruled to be drawn for partisan political gain.

“Congressman, you are beloved by the people of New Mexico. You have consistently been a very sage voice in Congress, and I know that the people of New Mexico, in particular, would like to know what’s on the horizon for you,” Head said to Herrell.

Herrell responded, “You know what, I have been asked by so many people to stay in the fight, and I will because it is just too important for our country, our state, and just to know that we have an opportunity to change the course of America by getting ourselves back on track. Putting American sovereignty [and] American security first. So, all options are certainly on the table, but I will definitely be staying in the fight, and next year, we will definitely be making some announcements for sure.” 

The latest development comes after Herrell filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for a 2024 matchup against Vasquez.

She previously wrote in a November 17 email, “We know our work in Washington was not completed, and hundreds of people from all over the District and colleagues in Washington have asked me to stay in the fight…all options will be on the table – so stay tuned.” 

MLG’s PED wants more funds despite ‘moonshot’ cash infusion fail

Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) Secretary Kurt Steinhaus is requesting another increase in spending on the Department despite the state failing behind every single other state and the District of Columbia in education.

The request for more cash comes directly after Lujan Grisham’s administration demanded a massive lump of funding the administration claimed was an education “moonshot” to help solve New Mexico’s failing education system.

Despite the “moonshot,” New Mexico’s education system remains the lowest in the nation. The PED receives the largest sum from the state budget, making up approximately 45 percent, or around $4 billion.

Steinhaus’ department is now requesting an at least 6.3 percent increase, increasing spending for the department to $4.3 billion.

Lujan Grisham’s regime not only brought no results with its union-focused education agenda; It actually plunged New Mexico’s students into historic decline.

“We’ve got to build a budget that will deliver a better outcome of getting those licensed people in the classroom,” Steinhaus said.

From 2020 to 2022, fourth-grade mathematics scores for New Mexico children are ranked 50th out of all 50 states, being beaten only by the territory of Puerto Rico. Eighth-grade mathematics scores ranked 49th, being nearly tied with Washington D.C. and West Virginia while only beating Puerto Rico in that category.

In the category of reading, New Mexico fourth-graders ranked once again took the bottom spot, with no jurisdictions ranking higher in the category, but the District of Columbia, West Virginia, and Alaska coming close. New Mexico eighth-graders also scored the lowest in the nation, with the exception of Puerto Rico. Other states with similar low eighth-grade reading scores include Oklahoma, Alabama, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Only 19 percent of New Mexico fourth-graders are proficient in math, while 13 percent of New Mexico eighth-graders are math proficient. 21 percent of the state’s fourth graders are proficient in reading, while 18 percent of New Mexico’s eighth graders are proficient in the same category. 

In both mathematics and reading, New Mexico’s children did not change in the rankings, while all other states and jurisdictions improved post-pandemic. 

Fourth-grade math scores are the lowest in 17 years, while eighth-graders scores are the lowest in 30 years. In reading, New Mexico fourth graders had the lowest scores in 13 years, while eighth graders in the same category had the lowest scores in 15 years.

MLG copies former GOP opponent’s rebate plan she once called ‘socialist’

In a strange turn of events, far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is urging New Mexico legislators to adopt a $750 to $1,500 rebate plan with the new windfall of over $1.1 billion in “new money” to spend in the new fiscal year due to increased oil and gas proceeds

The Albuquerque Journal reported, “The specific size and scope of the rebates remain under negotiation with the session just over a month away, but a spokeswoman for the Democratic governor said Tuesday the rebates could be in the ballpark of $750 per taxpayer – or $1,500 per married couple filing jointly.” 

“The governor has been working for several months to urge the Legislature to support using a portion of the one-time funds to deliver another rebate to New Mexicans as they continue to experience high costs due to inflation,” Lujan Grisham’s press secretary Nora Meyers Sackett said.

“The record-high revenue projections present a unique opportunity to keep more money in New Mexicans’ pockets, and the governor will continue to push for an additional round of rebates as we near the legislative session,” she continued.

Backtracking to the 2022 campaign, where Lujan Grisham beat her GOP opponent Mark Ronchetti, she blasted his campaign’s plan to give tax rebates based on oil and gas production — essentially the same policy she is proposing now. 

Ronchetti’s website read during the campaign, “At current oil and gas production and budget surplus levels, this would amount to more than $500 for every man, woman, and child in New Mexico.”

In July, Lujan Grisham’s campaign railed against Ronchetti’s plan, calling it a “fiscally irresponsible socialist scheme” that would eliminate funding for the state budget. The governor’s administration has now copy-pasted the Ronchetti plan.

Lujan Grisham’s previous critique of Ronchetti’s plan came after she approved robbing the Land Grant Permanent Fund of billions to pay for socialist “free” daycare, approved $75 million annually for socialist “free” college (including for illegal aliens), and promoted full-blown socialist policies, such as the state’s “Energy Transition Act,” also known as the Green New Deal to implement the socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-style policy.

Last NM House recounts completed

On Wednesday, the state’s canvassing board certified the remaining legislative elections that resulted in automatic recounts.

The results of both recounts had the same individuals winning. Republican Jenifer Jones of Deming Defeated incumbent Democrat Rep. Candie Sweetser in District 32. Jones has a 46-vote lead, which is unchanged from the initial results.

In the Albuquerque-based District 68, Democrat candidate Charlotte Little defeated Republican Robert Moss by 35 votes — a difference of one vote from the initial 36-vote lead.

The news now affirms that Democrats will officially control the state legislature with 45 seats to Republicans’ 25 seats. 

The board, comprised of Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Shannon Bacon, all Democrats, certified the election. Bacon was not present at the certification.

Now, the House will officially have 16 new freshman legislators (* indicates previous legislative service):

Mark Duncan (R-District 2)

Tanya Mirabal Moya (R-District 7) 

Cynthia Borrego (D-District 17)

Janelle Anyanonu (D-District 19)

Alan Martinez (R-District 23)

*Eleanor Chavez (D-District 26)

Jenifer Jones (R-District 32)

Tara Jaramillo (D-District 38)

*Joseph Sanchez (D-District 40)

Kathleen Cates (D-District 44)

Reena Szczepanski (D-District 47)

John Block (R-District 51)

Harlan Vincent (R-District 56)

Andrea Reeb (R-District 64)

Jimmy Mason (R-District 66)

Charlotte Little (D-District 68)

Carville uses NM’s socialist ‘free’ daycare amendment to bash Kari Lake

During a Sunday CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta interview, leftist Democrat commentator James Carville rambled about his hatred for Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake alongside leftist commentator S.E. Cupp. The discussion came after Lake filed a lawsuit pointing to illegal actions that spoiled the election. 

Acosta said, “James, there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in Arizona these days. Maybe you can help us figure this out. We learned late yesterday that Kari Lake, the Republican who lost the race for governor, is suing state election officials, challenging the vote count, asking the court to declare her the winner. Is this life after Trump now election losers disputing the results?”

Carville responded, “All right, Kari Lake is, she’s out there. She’s goofy and stupid and ignorant. Let me tell you what’s going on in Arizona. Proposition 211, which is the citizens ballot measure to tell people I spent over $5,000 a dark money in Arizona they have to disclose. That pass[ed] by 73 percent.”

“Arizona had a ballot measure that would allow non-citizens to pay to Arizona intuition rate at Arizona colleges and universities. That’s big news. Kari Lake being goofy, right-wing stupid is hardly big or startling news. Let me see, loss, she’s done.”

He then invoked New Mexico’s far-left constitutional amendment that recently passed paying for socialist “free” (taxpayer-funded) daycare. He said, “And by the way, New Mexico would have 70 percent had a ballot measure to guarantee daycare for all New Mexicans. They are big stories going on in the southwestern United States that don’t involve Kari Lake. And, you know, we should be very aware of these, Jim, very aware. She’ll keep doing everything, every stunt she can pull to get attention. But I don’t really think that’s the big story coming out of here.” 

New Mexico’s socialist free pre-kindergarten program that robs billions from the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund passed with 70 percent support (472,826 votes), while only 30 percent (199,347) voted against it.

Ex-Gov. Bill Richardson angered over PRC candidates sent to governor

Democrat ex-Gov. Bill Richardson is decrying the state Public Regulation Commission (PRC) nominees submitted by the Public Regulation Commission Nominating Committee as non-representative of New Mexico, specifically in regard to Native Americans.

Richardson told the Associated Press that the exclusion of these rural-area individuals was “a glaring omission.” 

He said, “To ignore northwestern New Mexicans and the Navajos in Cibola, McKinley, and San Juan counties is both short-sighted and insensitive,” adding, “The PRC needs to go back to the drawing board. Period.”

Most of the nine nominees selected to fill the three spots on the newly created governor-appointed commission are from the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas.

Former Four Corners Power Plant engineer Jeff Peace, who applied but was not selected as a nominee, said, “We don’t have [representation] now. And if it’s not me, then somebody else,” saying, “But like I said, we just keep getting shortchanged up here.”

Regarding the outrage over the nominees, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s press secretary Nora Sackett told the AP, “The governor’s role is just one aspect of the comprehensive process that seeks to ensure qualified professionals can be relied upon to work on these technical matters that affect every New Mexican.”

The report noted:

Joseph Little is among those who will be considered by the governor. From the Mescalero Apache Nation in southern New Mexico, Little has worked with tribes on everything from water rights to utility easements.

The others are Cholla Khoury, New Mexico’s chief deputy attorney general for civil affairs; Amy Stein, who has worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and California before teaching in Florida; former Public Service Co. of New Mexico resource planner Patrick O’Connell; former Republican state lawmaker Brian Moore; FERC senior policy adviser Gabriel Aguilera; Carolyn Glick, who worked for years at the PRC as general counsel and a hearing examiner; Sandia National Laboratories engineer James Ellison; and Arthur O’Donnell, who has served as a PRC consultant.

But still, Richardson insisted, “I just think it was very insensitive and wrong not to include a Navajo.”

Read more about all the PRC nominees here.

Egolf resigns from PRC committee after ethics panel rules he violated law

Retiring New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) has resigned from his position on the Public Regulation Commission Nominating Committee after appointing himself to the post. The committee was formed after voters in 2020 changed the PRC from an elected board to a governor-appointed board. A legal challenge to the constitutional amendment was thrown out by the majority Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham-appointed New Mexico Supreme Court.

The move comes amid an ethics complaint filed by state Rep. Miguel García (D-Bernalillo), who charged that Egolf broke the law and the state Constitution with his self-appointment. 

According to the State Ethics Commission (SEC), García’s charges were found to be valid. SEC executive director Jeremy Farris wrote that the Commission “has determined that probable cause supports allegations asserted by the complainant [García] … that you violated the Governmental Conduct Act.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican further reported, “Farris wrote that Egolf could ‘correct the violation’ by resigning from the nominating committee in 10 days. Otherwise, he wrote, Hearing Officer Alan Torgenson would preside over a public hearing ‘to determine whether a preponderance of the evidence establishes a violation of the Governmental Conduct Act.’”

Now that Egolf has resigned no hearing on the matter will occur, according to House Democrats’ spokeswoman Camille Ward.

The resignation came the same day the committee had nominated nine individuals for Lujan Grisham to pick from for the PRC. The previous five-member elected commission is now a three-member panel — all of whom Lujan Grisham will select.

Antifa tries to violently shut down Charlie Kirk event at UNM

On Wednesday, the University of New Mexico’s chapter of the conservative group Turning Point USA hosted the organization’s founder, Charlie Kirk, to talk on campus. 

The event was met with violent protests from far-leftists, including Antifa and members of the extremist Party for Socialism and Liberation. Some demonstrators slung anti-American sentiments, such as one person who said, “Americans, f**k Americans.”

“It’s really interesting when you try to show up on a college campus and do an optional, voluntary event, how angry the other side gets. But it’s a very important moment for people to recognize and understand that the other side — the left, the radical left — they’re acting like the very same domestic violent extremists that the entire federal government is now organized to go after, and we’re told that’s on the American right,” Kirk told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in response to the violent protest.

According to KRQE News 13, “Three people were detained before being given summons and escorted off campus. There has been no word on the charges they’re facing as of 10 p.m. Wednesday.” 

Previously in September, a violent mob formed around conservative activist Tomi Lahren’s event at UNM, shoving police officers down and attempting to bang down the door to Lahren’s talk.

Watch a video of Kirk’s event at UNM here: 

More businesses forced to go ‘cashless’ due to robberies, skyrocketing crime

Many small businesses are being forced to go “cashless” after a string of robberies that have left them with thousands of dollars swiped by criminals. 

Santa Fe’s Rowley Farmhouse Ales was robbed on November 8 of over $2,000 and a safe that costs about $1,000. 

“They ripped out our safe and about two grand. Plus the safe cost about a grand,” co-owner Jeffrey Kaplan told the Santa Fe New Mexican. This was the second time the establishment has been robbed, the first robbery also netting the criminals about $2,000. Now, the taproom is forced to go cashless.

The criminals  know restaurants have money,” Kaplan said, adding, “We said, ‘Let’s make this less of a target.’ ”

Albuquerque’s Burritos Alinstante restaurants are also cashless now due to crime.

The New Mexican reported, “The reason? Too many robberies where people with guns and wrenches and other weapons or tools came into the restaurants threatening employees and demanding cash,” according to Mary Ellen Chavez, who runs the restaurant chain.

“We had been robbed six or seven times in one of our stores in a very short period of time — six or eight weeks — and my employees were terrified,” Chavez said. “We were trying to figure out how to keep them safe and keep them going [to work]. And our solution helped everyone in that location feel a whole lot better.”

The move results in restaurants and other establishments having to pay three to four percent per transaction to credit card companies. But according to Chavez, after the implementation of the cashless policy, there haven’t been any burglaries as of yet. 

Carol Wight of the New Mexico Restaurant Association told the New Mexican that restaurants “are very concerned for their employees and staff, and they don’t want them handling cash and being vulnerable to burglaries,” adding, “We’ve had people held up and shot at gunpoint in restaurants. … You put somebody at risk every time you take money out of the safe and send it to the bank; you put them at risk just by having it on the premises.”

New Mexico has the second-highest violent crime rate in the entire nation, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s statistics. In 2021, for every 100,000 New Mexicans, law enforcement reported 2,189 crimes against persons or affecting 2.92% of the population. The only state with worse overall crime was Arkansas, with 2,276 crimes per 100,000 people.

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