The news of the impending application by the Santa Fe Gold Company to begin operations in the Ortiz Mountains is disturbing. We work hard at the Turquoise Trail Preservation Trust to preserve and promote the beauty of the area for the multitudes of tourists who visit here each year and the many residents that live and recreate along it. The impending encroachment of Santa Fe Gold is a matter for all of New Mexico to consider. Santa Fe Gold threatens to not only disturb the natural peace of the land, but also cannibalize precious resources already painstakingly rationed by those who implicitly understand their value. The scarring left on the north side of the Ortiz proves mining is infinitely detrimental to the health of the land. Water tables remain poisoned there to this day. Contact your County Commissioner to vote no to Santa Fe Gold.
VICE PRESIDENT, TTPT
Every day I see scars from three different past and present mining activities here in the San Pedro Mountains just a few miles south of the proposed Ortiz gold mine. Must we continue scarring the earth, leaving a mess for our children and grandchildren? As more of our consciousnesses rise and our thoughts speed up, we will see this is not the way to go. Stop the proposed gold mine.
NEWS, SEPT. 24:
A BOLD SHIFT
Kudos for your recent article [news, Sept. 25, "Breakup"] on whether we should establish a city/county-owned public power electric utility in our region. The piece, however, didn't address a few important considerations. First, there's the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our current heavy reliance on fossil fuel-derived (coal and natural gas) electric power. Should the Santa Fe region do its part to prevent catastrophic global climate disruption? A bold shift to energy efficiency and renewable-sourced electricity would dramatically reduce our collective carbon foot print, all while keeping electric utility bills manageable. Achieving such a transition may only be possible with a public power utility structure.
Second, there's enormous potential for clean energy local economic development with a public power authority that's free from the burden of having to make a profit. Municipal utility–funded programs to implement energy efficiency renovations at existing homes and businesses would stimulate jobs in our building sector, one still reeling from the Great Recession. Locally-sited solar and wind energy projects would further stimulate our economy. In fact, roof-top solar power creates more jobs per megawatt of installed power than any other form of electric generation. PNM does a good job of implementing the energy efficiency and customer-scale renewable energy programs required by state law. But those programs are quite small in scope, and there are no requirements or plans to substantively ramp them up in the future.
Assessing whether to create a city/county-owned electric utility involves establishing a clean energy economic development vision for our community and deciding on whether we truly want to achieve that vision.
SANTA FE COUNTY
COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 4
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