Candidate, NM Senate District 5
Do you agree with climate scientists that we are facing a climate emergency?
Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 12 years in order to achieve carbon neutrality in time to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees and to avoid catastrophic runaway climate disruption?
In your opinion, why do political leaders set benchmarks and timeframes for emissions reductions that do not comport with climate science mandates? If elected, what will you do differently than current leadership?
I will push to the best of my ability try to speed up conversion from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Solar, wind, & hydro power are our best solutions and limited new safer nuclear generation can supplement our ever growing needs. The tax dollar carrot from oil & gas production dangling in front of law makers is is the reason our leaders aren't moving very fast.
If elected, what specific policies will you initiate in your first year of service to begin transitioning our economy to net zero carbon emissions in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?
I will work with you all to submit effective legislation in the area of net zero emissions policies. I look forward to meeting with you all to determine what might work.
What measures will you propose and advance to ensure that economic recovery and the transition to a green economy fosters equity and economic & racial justice?
I have no idea how racial justice fits in with a green economy but l am open to learning what the heck you mean by this? But I am sure that communities free to build business with green energy will offer jobs and stability. I can also say that Racial injustice is intolerable and such a waste of everyone's emotions and resources. Everyone in this country is guaranteed the same rights and freedoms and none of us should take them for granted.
If elected, will you support the creation of a Just Transition Study & Fund to identify alternative revenue sources for our state budget and invest in community-driven climate mitigation and adaptation strategies?
ABSOLUTELY! One of the most important things we can do here in New Mexico is innovate in the areas of alternative energy. We could technically be the benchmark for solar and wind energy with the right funding. I have a vision of miles & miles of desert solar generation fields producing 100% of our needs and some much surplus we can sell it to raise massive revenue. Why waste all this sun power & sand?
If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy for all of NM?
We must encourage traditional methods in the farming and marketing of whole organic foods which was the way previous generations survived. New Mexico was once covered with great fields of grass along the rivers and then we started selling water to other states. Plus drought came along with government farming regulations to force farmers to use "modern" techniques. A lot of this needs to be fixed on a legislative level & I will work towards changing what I can.
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
I am from Los Alamos and acquainted with some of the worlds greatest scientific minds in the area of energy, climate change, and conservation. I know who to talk with to get expert advice and not afraid to count on them. I am certain we have some of the est minds right here in Northern New mexico & Albuquerque at UNM to count on as resources.
Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM
I have no idea what you mean by environmental racism and would welcome some education here please?
This is a new concept to me, but open to learning more about it.
Do you believe climate action is an issue of intergenerational justice? What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations while in office? Explain.
You kids. lol I was a hippy in the 60's & 70's and am still one in my heart. We invented environmentalism. I will fight to my dying day to make our world clean and fresh again and a wholesome place for you and your future generations to live free! It makes me so happy to hear that you really do give a damn and that all our work won’t go to waste. We still can save this world if we just get moving and control runaway government power.
A) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas development in the state of New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
Not on natural gas but yes on oil drilling especially fracking old wells. My guess is that when we get serious about replacing Oil & gas with solar & wind, there will be an organic & gradual phasing out anyway. As the profit margins on oil slide downward there will no longer be a reason to drill. But that is up to us to make these changes. Also electric cars will lower the demand for oil.
B) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
Not really. Natural Gas is such a huge resource and much more efficient power plants can be made almost pollution free. I would support more research to make their carbon footprint much lower or zero emission.
Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?
Yes. I am from Los Alamos the birth place of nuclear energy. What I can't understand is the shear terror people have about nuclear power from what they have seen with 60+ year old technology. Those huge reactors that were always just minutes from melt down and are a thing of the past. But most folks have no idea how far our research has come in the development of safe & efficient nuclear energy. For example I got to see the tiny nuclear reactor that is powering the Mars Rover. Wow!
Do you support a competitive energy market where Cities/Counties/Indigenous Nations are able to own, produce, and sell electricity to residents and keep energy dollars local?
Absolutely! This is kind of a no brainer but it's gonna take a lot of work and money to get there but so well worth it. I was one of the guys that helped put KTAO solar radio on the air back in the 1970's. We replaced fuel oil generators with solar panels & became the worlds first solar radio station. We were told that we were idiots and it would never work. Well, tune into 101.9 when you're up here sometime. It's still on the air and making money. Taos is about move toward 100% Solar.
Community Solar legislation has been brought up multiple times in the last few years. What is your position on community solar and what will you do to ensure that community solar is prioritized and passes?
I will run around the round house like crazy promoting mine & others solar energy bills to build support & get votes. I am so in favor of community solar. Read my last response regarding what I helped start in Taos.
What do you believe is the fossil fuel industry/utility’s responsibility for cleanup and how as an elected official in the public office for which you are running do you plan to hold industry accountable for pollution and cleanup?
I was/am a Boy Scout. We were taught to use the land & leave it better than we found it. If you fly over the oil fields of north west New Mexico around Farmington, it is littered with abandoned drilling rigs and equipment because no one has forced them to clean up their messes. BP, Phillips, & even the Tribal drilling companies just don't care because it's too expensive to clean it up. We can change that.
Do you believe bonding rates for industry should cover the full cost of cleanup?
We have seen the oil industry collapse over the last month, with oil prices nosediving. Given our current situation and the danger our state’s budget is in, how do you see the role of oil and gas corporations in New Mexico’s future?
"Short term: They need to survive this crash. We are drunk on their tax revenue but I don't expect to ever see $100/ barrel prices that may produce surplus revenue ever again. If we move too fast to end our dependence on O&G, it will cause terrible short falls and serious economic issues.
Long term: Maybe voters & leaders will wake up to a new push to get more solar & wind energy online at a more rapid pace. If we don't move to end our dependence on O&G, the result will be even worse."
Do you support utility bill forgiveness for low-income New Mexicans who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis?
Some are saying that COVID-19 is the dress rehearsal for the climate crisis. In fact, in many places throughout the world, the two are compounding crises. What do you think we can learn from the COVID-19 crisis when addressing the climate crisis?
Sadly, Covid has had tragic affect on a lot of small businesses, families and individuals. I honestly don't think it will amount to anything more than a bump in our history. But the upside is that we are noticing an ever so small but observable positive effect on the environment. Hopefully it will drive some awareness by the public to the dire need to heal our environment. But that remains to be seen.
Describe your previous experience working on social/health/environmental issues, do you have experience working with impacted communities to co-develop solutions? How will you use this experience to tackle the climate crisis?
Taos is my best example. I lived in and helped build the first Solar homes now called Earth Ships. I'd love to see thousands more of these all over New Mexico. I'd love to see all the radio and TV stations on top of Sandia Peak and every Mesa around NM all powered by solar. I have volunteered to help clean up the Rio Grande and supported the salvation of the native Silver minnow and other cool stuff. I have supported ditch rights organizations and fought out of state water sales.
What are your ideas to loosen the grip of industry on the state legislature and strengthen our democracy?
I have lots and am open to more intelligent suggestions from people smarter than I. As a Libertarian, I am 100% in favor of free enterprise. It is the American way. People won't have jobs if we don't build an economic environment favorable to business without harming our Physical environment. This is possible. The Gross Receipts Tax structure needs to be examined and if not eliminated, then at least made more favorable to encourage businesses to stay in New Mexico.
Name specific alternative sources for state revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected:
Scientific Research & Development laboratories: private & government. We already have a world class reputation for Los Alamos & Sandia. We can and must attract more of this. Billions of dollars & high paying jobs will result from this. More Internet development companies need to be attracted here. Google turned us down several times but Facebook is here. Intel is going to grow and others will come if we build it. The internet is still l young & we can tap it's trillion dollar wells. The Movie industry loves us & we need to nurture th at too. But wait there's more! Lot's more. Too much for this forum...
Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No
Will you take the #fossilfree pledge?