New Mexico News Plus
Protection sought for New Mexico park’s geothermal deposits -- Santa Fe New Mexican/Associated Press
Underground pockets of boiling water and steam in a Northern New Mexico national preserve that represent the heart of an ancient collapsed volcano could get extra federal protection under a proposal by the National Park Service to limit or prevent any negative effects from tapping geothermal energy on neighboring land.
Federal officials said last week that the Valles Caldera National Preserve would become the 17th U.S. park unit with designated thermal features, if approved. A monthlong public comment period will end Jan. 26. -- 1/3/2017
FBI, DHS release report on Russia hacking -- The Hill
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday released a joint report detailing how federal investigators linked the Russian government to hacks of Democratic Party organizations.
The 13-page report provides technical details regarding tools and infrastructure used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services to “compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with the U.S. election, as well as a range of U.S. Government, political, and private sector entities.” -- 12/29/2016
With new monuments in Nevada, Utah, Obama adds to his environmental legacy -- Washington Post
President Obama on Tuesday created new national monuments in a sacred tribal site in southeastern Utah and in a swath of Nevada desert, after years of political fights over the fate of the sites. -- 12/28/2016
Gust of wind-generated energy sweeping toward NM -- Albquerque Journal
Energy developers are tapping into New Mexico’s billowing wind energy potential, with plans to double installed generating capacity from wind farms throughout the state’s gusty eastern plains in the next few years.
More than a gigawatt of wind capacity is now under construction or planned in New Mexico, said Jeremy Lewis, bureau chief for the energy, conservation and management division at the state Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department. -- 12/27/2016
New Mexico OKs reopening of troubled nuclear dump -- Santa Fe New Mexican/Associated Press
New Mexico regulators have approved restarting normal operations at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository, a major step for U.S. officials aiming to reopen the facility nearly three years after a radiation leak shut it down indefinitely. -- 12/23/2016
Obama to Dismantle Visitor Registry -- New York Times
The Obama administration is dismantling a dormant national registry program for visitors from countries with active terrorist groups — a program that President-elect has suggested he is considering resurrecting.
The registry, created after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has not been in use since 2011, so the move is largely symbolic and appeared to be aimed at distancing the departing administration from any effort by the new president to revive the program, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or NSEERS. -- 12/22/2016
NM appoints former oil executive to top energy post– Las Cruces Sun News
Former oil and natural gas industry executive Ken McQueen was appointed Tuesday to lead the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
In a statement, Gov. Susana Martinez said McQueen brings a valuable background in petroleum engineering to the post and will be in charge of a state energy plan that stresses job creation and supporting national efforts toward energy independence. -- 12/21/2016
New Mexico facing $69M deficit, more trouble on horizon -- Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico’s budget woes show no signs of abating, as revenue estimates unveiled today show the state facing an estimated deficit of about $69 million for the current fiscal budget year even if all cash reserves are spent.
In addition, the amount of revenue projected to be available for the fiscal year starting in July 2017 is nearly $300 million less than original state spending levels for this year.-- 12/5/2016
Federal government blocks Dakota Access oil pipeline route -- Santa Fe New Mexican
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten a water source and cultural sites. -- 12/5/2016