Monday Mission #55

We are now two weeks from the election. Early voting has started here in Rio Arriba County. The early voting sites at the Health Commons in Espanola and the Senior Center in Chimayo will be open from 10:00 to 6:00 Tuesday through Saturday. (no voting on Sunday and Monday).

Each one of us needs to take one other person to the polls who is registered but does not always vote.

URGENT! We have until October 31st to register our protest of the proposed BLM oil and gas lease sale. One parcel is on the edge of the Chama watershed near Lybrook and others are in the Greater Chaco area. We are all aware of the dangers of ‘fracking’ and contamination of the underground aquifer with dangerous chemicals. Waste pits are a concern with numerous migrating birds and thirsty desert animals tempted by the toxic sludge. The practice of flaring releases deadly airborne pollution. Roads and pipelines chop up pristine landscapes, disrupting wildlife and destroying native vegetation. The area is also home to ancient cultural sites which are still in use and irreplaceable. It is reckless to push forward with this development for all these reasons and more. Information is available from the Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens. A letter writing workshop is scheduled for 10/27 at the El Rito Library from 10:00 to 2:00. If you wait until then to write, you will need to hand-deliver your letter to the Santa Fe BLM office. Otherwise, use the address below and mail your protest in time for it to arrive before the first of next week.
BLM State Office
Attn: State Director
301 Dinosaur Trial
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508

The Department of Homeland Security is proposing rule changes to require people with green cards to prove they are not dependent on public benefits for more than 15% of their income. Federal law has always required card holders to show they are not a burden but only considered cash assistance. Public benefits would now be defined as any cash or non-cash assistance including low income housing, prescription drug benefits, and supplemental nutrition. Individuals not able to show this level of self-reliance would be subject to deportation. The proposal with supporting documentation runs 447 pages. Buried within are tables which show immigrants use public services at a significantly lower rate than native-born citizens. These are people who are working and paying taxes. Many may now decide to avoid using public programs so not to jeopardize their status. I don’t think this is about saving taxpayer money, though. It is part of the administration’s crackdown on immigrants which plays so well politically with its supporters. We need immigration reform. This, however, appears to be an attempt to make life difficult and strangle the process of becoming a citizen in red tape. If you wish to comment, the link is here.

In 2015, the Obama Administration took the initiative to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 32% by 2030. The Clean Power Plan was challenged in the courts and a Republican majority on the Supreme Court stepped in to stay the Plan while those legal challenges were settled. The Trump administration in its effort to end the ‘war on coal’ proposes to replace the Clean Power Plan with the ‘Affordable Clean Energy Rule’. There are no greenhouse gas emission standards in the ACE Rule. Considering that the EPA estimates the new ACE Rule will result in a 0.7 to 1.5% reduction by 2030 it would take more than a century to get to 32%. A century, unfortunately, is more time than we have. The comment period ends October 31st. Follow this link .

Stand up. Speak out. Vote as if your life depended on it. 

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