Sugar & spice with oil & gas

Speaking at yesterday's annual New Mexico Oil and Gas Association conference, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham assured attendees the state plans to work cooperatively with the industry. The state expects a little less than $8 billion in revenue from the industry in its next fiscal budget, $907 million of which is new as oil production has doubled over the last two years. Lujan Grisham's remarks come as the governor embarks on new initiatives to regulate methane emissions. US Interior Secretary David Bernhardt also spoke at the conference, and with the New Mexican ($) on a variety of topics, including the one-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling near Chaco Culture National Historical Park, as well as ethics criticisms he's received regarding his past as a lobbyist for oil and gas interests ($ NYT).

People make fire. Fire bad.

Humans caused 18 small fires in the Carson National Forest, according to the US Forest Service. Those fires, the Maton Fires near El Rito, were fully contained as of yesterday. Fire investigators are still assessing the specific causes of each fire by examining the 18 different points of ignition. "There could be a number of human determined causes," Denise Ottaviano, spokeswoman for the Carson forest said.The fires had burned 105 acres as of Saturday.

Help for border communities

US Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-NM, has introduced a bill intended to help reimburse communities in the southern part of the state for providing care to migrants. The Southern Border Communities Relief Act authorizes $60 million for the next three fiscal years to reimburse nonprofits providing shelter and care, and also requires Border Patrol to provide eight hours notice before dropping off people. US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-NM, co-sponsored the bill. "Throughout the year, border communities alongside non-profits and faith groups have risen to meet the challenges associated with the humanitarian crisis at their doors exemplifying true New Mexican values," Torres Small said in a press statement. "The federal government cannot continue to take advantage of their hard work."

No way! Yesway.

Pending regulatory approval, Iowa-based convenience store chain Yesway will be acquiring Allsup's Convenience Stores and all 304 of its locations in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. Allsup founders Lonnie and Barbara Allsup opened their first store in Roswell in 1956; the chain has been maintained as a family business since then. Lonnie died in 2018, and rumors have circulated for the past year about a potential sale. In a press release on the sale, Allsups President Mark Allsups said: "We are very excited to have selected Yesway as the acquirer of our company and the future custodian of our brand and legacy … We chose Yesway as a partner because their values are truly aligned with ours." Yesway officials say they plan to continue serving "the world-famous Allsup's Burrito."

Pain pills in the Valley

The Rio Grande SUN deconstructs some of the statistics and attitudes underlying perceptions regarding drug abuse problems in Rio Arriba County, particularly Española. The long-form piece, "How Pain Pills Flooded the Española Valley," specifically examines media focus on the Walgreens in Española ($ TNM), with observations from a CVS pharmacy technician who worked in both Española and Santa Fe, and who believes the data representing Española is "skewed… The richer areas have their own drug problems, of course," she said. "It's real easy to point the finger at this little town."

Brackley gives thumbs down to Railyard

SFR chatted with outgoing Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce President Simon Brackley this week about his decades working with the Santa Fe business community. Among other thoughts, Brackley leveled criticism at the Santa Fe Railyard, noting: "There's no people there. I think the design was flawed. I think the governing structure is flawed. I think the parking and transportation is flawed. I think the security is flawed." What's your take on the Railyard? Is Brackley on point or too harsh in his assessment?

Good day, sunshine

Yesterday's rain and gloom took the Word by surprise, since it wasn't actually in the forecast. Nor is it today, when temps are expected to reach a high of 69, and skies are predicted to be clear. So it goes for the rest of the week, although climes will become a bit cooler at the end of the week, and frost predictions for Friday night remain in place. If you haven't headed up the mountain to see the aspens yet, they are turning colors and worth a visit. But drive carefully: lots of cows hanging out in the middle of the road.

Thanks for reading! The Word enjoys contemplating space tourism via New Mexico's Spaceport, as in enjoys thinking about other people doing it—possibly as soon as next year—according to this article about yesterday's announcement that Boeing is investing $20 million in Virgin Galactic.