Candidate, NM Senate District 17
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?
Cowardice. I believe in enacting the Green New Deal in NM locally.
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?
Solar is our best chance, need to open up the monopoly on transmission lines. Wind is good if the turbines aren't too fast and become hawk choppers.
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 sponsored the legislation that created the film finance program which got the film industry going again. Film is a green industry and hires smart people no matter how they look. I was able to get one hundred twenty million in venture capital funds for investment in NM enterprises. That was because Bill Richardson was stealing the fund blind but that's another story. It's easy to talk "jobs" but harder to do it.
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? Explain.
Everything will be totally different now. We may be in a second wave this fall. We have to fight hard for climate mitigation before the clock to do something expires. Noam Chomsky says this is the most important election in the history of the World. If we don't beat this sociopath not much else matters. I will be an organizer for change and hope.
If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy for all of NM?
If you look at Pueblo land it is still in its natural state. Laguna knows how to make money. Santana, Pojoaque, are enterprise developers. Name needs economic help but they pay attention and try real hard. Sandia an San Ildephonso know they belong to the land. The Navajo are hurting so bad now it brings me to tears. They need water and hay for their animals. We must give the tribes their full federal subsidiaries for education and not take 1/2 like we do now.I will listen to you.
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
"I'll listen to youth and scientists. I'm 72 years old, an eloquent old goat. The planet is yours no longer mine."
Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM
Most water and air pollution is dumped into neighborhoods of color. District 17 where i'm running is a living example with jet fuel leaching into our water table and wells.
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.
We fiddled while Rome burned... I was an environmentalist to the extreme when I was in college. Me and my buddy Jon Greene worked for the John Muir Institute. We built a mercury detector and tested coal from the 4 Corners Power Plant and determined that it emitted 7 tons of airborne mercury each year. I sponsored the Sierra Club's mining act to give them a seat at the table for mining reform.
A) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas development in the state of New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
Yes. My opponent says she's an environmentalist but she supports fracking. She has laundered money from Chevron ($2,400), Exon ($2,500), Marathon Oil $3000 over two years. The money came through Peter Wirth's account to Stewart's personal PAC 'NM Senate Democrats'. Not being mean just stating facts.
B) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
For sure, for sure as the Irish say. If we don't do everything possible it will be too late. I will work to make the Green New Deal into a local reality.
Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?
"I fought against the investment by PNM into Mesa Verde nuclear plant before my election to the Senate. Iproved PNM's plan was a security that had to be registered with the SEC - killed their proposal & pis
sed them off big time."
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?
You are expressing a great idea there. AOK with me. Teach me how to argue for it.
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?
"It's all about getting the 22 votes to control the Senate, then we get to do what we choose - have to stick together like peanut butter!"
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 learned a lot fighting the mining industry while carrying the Sierra Club's mining legislation. We did a lot of work on remiteration. I learned that much is possible if you ask for what you need
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?
Stop fracking, clean up methane pollution, and make oil companies stop drilling oil spills. If they have to internalize these costs that will slow production and keep oil and gas in the ground. People are hurting and we can use our $120 million venture capital fund to start new clean indutries. Make college education free and we'll be off to the races.
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?
I believe they are one and the same. If you devastate forests, wild animals have no place to go and interact with humans and domestic stock more. Then the virus makes the jump more likely. Maybe mother nature had been through too much with us and is getting even or playing defense. The air and water sure look clean.
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?
First of all we have to take money out of campaigns so we can take money out of government. I refuse any contributions. We're working to win with leg power. We've spent less than $1000 against $60000 from Mimi Stewart's campaign. We have a chance to win which I bhope would encourage young people to run, since you don't have to be rich or sell your votes to run for office.
What are your ideas to loosen the grip of industry on the state legislature and strengthen our democracy?
"The Senate sings a song: ""Put me in your pocket and i'll be close to you, no more will you be lonesome no more will you be blue, because i'll be in your pocket and I will be there for you."" Money runs government now until we decide that ideas are not to be bought and votes can't be sold. It's up to young people to feel the Bern!"
Name specific alternative sources for state revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No
Start with the film industry that is still growing. Use the venture capital fund w/ $120 million for patent development from the labs. Expand venture capital fund to develop art investment and music production. Pay for college education for every young person. Every body talks jobs but not many Senators actually created any jobs directly. Remember we won't be fooled again?
Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No
Will you take the #fossilfree pledge? http://nofossilfuelmoney.org/politician-signup/