Rigged Up: Monkey Wrench gangsters beware: The Energy Security Council—a nonprofit association for the petroleum industry—has expanded its Energy Crime Stoppers Hotline, which began last year in Texas, to include New Mexico and six other states.

In its first eight months, the hotline (888-OIL-TIPS) led to the recovery of $48,000 worth of equipment stolen from Texas sites.

Call-in squealers are paid if the tips lead to arrests or convictions.

Bill Dirks, managing partner of would've-been Galisteo Basin oil driller Tecton Energy, tells SFR his company hasn't had problems with theft.

"Vandalism is more common—particularly by protesters and oil opponents—and it is not uncommon to find fences and enclosures damaged, cameras and alarm systems tampered with, and
sometimes producing equipment damaged," Dirks tells SFR. "We have had some huge vandalism both on the Galisteo Basin site and the West Mesa site, not huge dollar amounts, but troubling nonetheless."

TV or Not TV: One year ago, the Albuquerque-Santa Fe media market was the ninth least prepared in the country for the digital television transition originally scheduled for Feb. 17 (now June 12).
Six months ago, Albuquerque-Santa Fe was the sixth least prepared.

This April, according to the Nielson Company, the region is the number one least prepared in the nation, with 9.4 percent of the population "completely unprepared."

 "We're geographically spread out, so it is difficult to get information out," New Mexico Media Literacy Project Executive Director Andrea Isabel Quijada says. "We're also up against the fact that we're one of the poorest states."

Would New Mexico be better prepared had Gov. Bill Richardson ascended to the US Commerce Department, the branch in charge of DTV? "I would like to believe that if there were more people from New Mexico connected to power in Washington DC they'd be looking out for the people of New Mexico," Quijada says.

NMMLP is campaigning for DTV converter box retailers—like Target and Best Buy—to drop the prices to $40 (the cost of the government DTV voucher). The project is also collecting stories from New Mexicans through its hotline: 505-828-3264.

Top of the Slide: SFR will talk about media technology and politics (especially the Digital Revolution during the 2009 legislative session) at Ignite Santa Fe, a new lecture series for techno-types. The rules: five minutes, 20 slides. The free event is at 6 pm, April 29 at the Santa Fe Complex, 632 Agua Fria St.