Facing the Forest Service
I agree with David Correia that the National Forest Service’s management of federal lands has been a disaster for New Mexico, but that is one of the few aspects of his recent polemic on the agency that rang true … more on the other one later.
Correia has it exactly backwards on the problems facing the Forest Service itself. Regardless of your views of the Agency’s problems, the fact that it is a faceless bureaucracy based in Washington, DC is at the heart of the issue. One-size-fits-all policies from Washington are inadequate for the diverse problems and opportunities associated with federal land management.
Legislation that Utah has passed and bipartisan legislation that was introduced in New Mexico during the 2013 session would restore Forest Service and BLM lands to State control. This would set the stage for both the innovative management techniques Correia wishes to see as well as increased oil and gas production.
While the latter may upset Correia, he fails to even mention the direst issue associated with New Mexico’s federally managed lands: out of control forest fires. These are largely the result of the abject lack of management and timber production spurred on by the environmental movement’s desire for most federal lands to be un-managed “wilderness.” This is another potential point of agreement between those who want to see state, local or federal lands and Correia.
The revenues to the State from oil and gas production could help pay for much-needed management that Washington cannot or will not undertake.
The [La] Jicarita cover story [”Only You Can Stop the US Forest Service”] in the Sept. 5-11 issue [of the Alibi] has a blatant agenda, and I expect that from your paper. Unfortunately the story loses all validity in the first paragraph. It is an old, tried-but-untrue environmental fairy tale that there was any chemical poisoning of aquifers in Pennsylvania. I know that it is painful to let facts interfere with dogma or fact-checks. Also, couldn't you find a writer brave enough to use either his or her whole or real name?
Editor’s note: David Correia’s byline was prominently displayed on the cover, as a byline and online.
No safety net equals tragedy
The media has once again rounded up the usual suspect motive for the Naval Yard homicides: the deranged gunman. Reasonable minds certainly differ based on the evidence, but one would never know it from our media marching in monopolistic pre-textual motive lockstep.
The reason for this censorial evidentiary shutdown is that the evidence shows a gunman acting with cold, calculated reason, possibly motivated by his recent termination from the Naval Shipyard. Fearful that Americans might question the responsibility and merits of a system that offers employees no job protection while cutting back on unemployment benefits, food stamps, job programs and anything else that may have helped a person in the shooter’s economic situation, a united media has decided for us that the preservation of an often brutal, but financially rewarding for a select few, status quo is more important than their duty to inform the public. Most of the unemployed do not qualify for benefits, so how are they supposed to survive? Answer: They aren’t. We have a killing machine in place that silently, and with systematic efficiency, kills many of the destitute. I argue that those who implemented it are too intelligent to have done so negligently. Everyone responsible for cutting benefits for the jobless and poor in this horrific economy (but with trillions of unused dollars available) with no proven viable alternatives is liable for all the damages that result, including the Naval Shipyard victims. I am confident that a future tribunal will find likewise, and hopefully sooner than later.
The gunman has not been shown to have any mental disorder, save that implied by a cryptic police report. When the police can diagnose and prescribe, we should then view that as decisive. He was fired from his job. He may have decided it was better to go out "this way" (as he put it) than to cooperate and die destitute in the gutter. Motive is evidentiary explanation, not justification. Only an "exceptionally" criminal society would give its citizens such a "choice.”
Waiting for the Sun
The Public Regulation Commission is preparing to rule on how much New Mexico invests in renewable energy, and clean energy advocates argue that the PRC’s proposed changes would harm renewable energy development in the state. Looking at the facts, we have to agree.
New Mexico is the second-sunniest state in the country, but we currently get less than two percent of our electricity from the sun, lagging behind cloudy states like New Jersey. Our state needs to move toward a new, thriving clean energy economy, and not stay tethered to fossil fuels, which soak up billions in federal subsidies—over five times as much as all renewables combined—while polluting our air and water.
Our current policies have helped grow the amount of solar energy in New Mexico from less than 1 megawatt in 2007 to almost 200 megawatts now. Judging by the number of people who spoke in favor of renewables at the PRC’s hearing in Santa Fe on Tuesday [Sept. 10], New Mexicans clearly agree that developing our solar potential is smart for our state. We urge the PRC to leave renewable energy policies in place, not cut them off before they reach their full potential.
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