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Carbon Dioxide

The $15 Water Heater Upgrade

Water Heater Insulating Blanket

I have a cheap, inefficient water heater. Why? When I had the old water heater replaced I wasn't thinking about efficiency. So, the plumber installed an average, natural gas water heater. Buying a new, more efficient water heater can cost at least $500, plus installation. Being a creative and frugal guy (read: cheap) I found a way to upgrade my water heater for only $15.

Santa Fe County Holds Public Hearings on Oil & Gas Ordinance

Timber Oil Derrick circa 1888

Santa Fe County has announced several opportunities in November and December for public involvement in the revision and adoption of the Oil and Gas Element, Oil and Gas Ordinance and Growth Management Element. The following meetings and hearings of the County Development Review Committee (CDRC) and the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) will be open to the public, and participation is encouraged.

Stuck in the Middle With Utah

Stuck in the Middle - Stealers Wheel album cover

New Mexico is stuck in the middle, tied for 25th place with Utah, in the ACEEE 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. States were rated on eight factors including: Utility and Public Benefits Efficiency Programs and Policies, Transportation, Building Codes, Heat and Power, and Appliance Standards among others. Unfortunately, New Mexico's score of 15 points falls well behind California's score of 50!

Breathe Deep The Forest Primeval

Gambel Oak in the Gila Wilderness

I love forests. Probably because I grew up between a State Park and a Wildlife Preserve. I spent much of my childhood and teen years exploring the forest around my home. I understand the value of a forest is much greater than the wild game it supports and the board-feet of lumber it can produce. But, it's also reassuring when scientists discover another benefit of old-growth trees ... CO2 capture.

Fighting Dirty Coal in the Four Corners

Coal Plant Smokestacks

On July 31, 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency issued a PSD (Prevention of Significant Deterioration) permit for the Desert Rock Energy Facility in New Mexico's Four Corner's region. In response, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Attorney General Gary King announced their intention to immediately file an appeal of the U.S.

Governor Extends State Ban on Oil & Gas Drilling in Santa Fe County

Great Seal of the State of New Mexico

Governor Richardson has extended a state ban on new crude oil and gas drilling in Santa Fe County and the Galisteo Basin through January 24, 2009. The moratorium will allow more time for government agencies to gather information and begin rulemakings to protect water aquifers, archaeological and cultural resources, and wildlife in this ecologically fragile area.

Building a Better Firework

Ancient Chinese Firework Rocket

The Fourth of July is a holiday famous for parades, back-yard barbecue and fireworks. What could be more wholesome, festive and fun? Well, maybe a little less pollution from the fireworks would be nice.

How to Kill (or at least, wound) the Solar Industry in America

Concentrating Solar Power Trough

UPDATE - July 2, 2008
The BLM has reversed its earlier decision and will continue to receive and review applications for utility scale solar power projects while it develops a unified PEIS. Click for the Press Release. It looks like the public comments had a direct influence on the BLM!

Is This Our Final Warning?

Dr. James Hansen

In 1988 James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Space Institute for Space Studies, told the U.S. Senate "It's time to stop waffling ... and say that the greenhouse effect is here and is affecting our climate now." Unfortunately, very little has been done by the U.S. goverment in the past 20 years to address the causes of global warming. Congress and the U.S. have been given a second warning.

Make One Change, Plant a Seed

Your Victory Garden Counts More Than Ever

In a New York Times Earth Day column, Michael Pollan asks
 "Why Bother? That really is the big question facing us as individuals hoping to do something about climate change, and it’s not an easy one to answer."

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