Letters to the Editor 01/30/14
FBI has hotline for corruption
We in Socorro have had a lengthy conflict with the Socorro Electric Cooperative in recent years trying to get the Board of Trustees of that body to work with us members as equals. During this time numerous instances of mismanagement, malfeasance and double-dealing have been uncovered and we’ve voted to winnow out the establishment in order to start anew with representation that seeks to operate above-board. The trustees have reluctantly participated in the process since it meant their own incumbency was at risk. We’ve made progress.
The FBI in Albuquerque has come out recently and stated they stand ready to assist in sorting out small-town corruption. Recent editions of the Albuquerque Journal (12/19/13 and 12/27/13) have provided assurance that citizens of small towns in New Mexico may call upon the FBI for help. Contact numbers have been published and we must assume the FBI will respond in some manner to calls and input from the hinterlands. Why would they do this?
Any adult in New Mexico is aware of more than one standard from political bodies, officials, and agencies when conducting business or crime. That’s not limited to small towns, but it is reassuring to know a federal agency stands ready, they say, to help. Here are some contact points: (as published in the Journal)
FBI Hotline: 505-889-1580
So, any of us aware of underhanded practices, corruption, or multiple standards in public business or governmental works can provide information to the FBI and seek redress. We’ll see if they’re serious about this or not. I’m glad to hear their interest, but remain aware of the old adage, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”
Admittedly, it is harder to avoid conflicts of interest in a small community. The mayor and his clerk struggle to define nepotism at the fire department. NM Tech has some unique hiring practices. The sheriff’s office has some selective practices. The Coop has been a focal point for dodging legal and sound business processes. We don’t know how much is corruption, but there is a place to lodge a complaint, now.
Those of us who speak out know of the backlash and potential vengeance resulting from challenging the system. Step out on that limb only if …
BLM taking comments on CO2 pipeline
Fellow outdoorsmen and concerned citizens of New Mexico I am urging you to take action to help stop the exploitation of New Mexico lands. On Sept. 11, 2012, Kinder Morgan submitted an application to the Bureau of Land Management Socorro Field Office, requesting a right-of-way across public lands for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 214 mile carbon dioxide pipeline.
The Kinder Morgan pipeline would originate in Arizona stretching across Catron, Socorro, and Torrance counties, destroying public lands and pristine forest areas. Moreover, their intention is to erect unsightly pump stations along the pipeline route, as well as interconnections at the beginning and end of the new pipeline.
In addition to this construction Kinder Morgan also proposes to construct a 40-mile long loop parallel to their existing Cortez Pipeline in Chaves County, New Mexico. This loop will offset the additional CO2 load brought into the Cortez line. Kinder Morgan also intends to increase pumping capacity to the existing Caprock Station in Chaves County with a new pump station at the location of MLV 170 in Torrance County.
As a native New Mexican and avid outdoors person I am concerned that Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline routes do not represent the BLM’s preferred route or any of the BLM’s alternative routes per the National Environmental Policy Act. Instead, the “proposed action” is an effort brought forward by Kinder Morgan and their shareholders as the route that they believe to be the most valuable and economically practical for their purposes and needs.
What about the rights and best interests of New Mexican landowners and those who appreciate and use these pristine forests and recreational parks? How will the pipeline and construction of pump stations effect us? What will the construction of a 214-mile long CO2 pipeline do to our property values? How will this construction impact ecosystems and wildlife in these areas? One has to wonder if there will be an increase in poaching and destruction to the forest with maintenance roads granting free access to this land. And what happens if there is a leak or a break in the pipe? How will our health and the health of the animals be affected?
The only one who stands to benefit from this proposed route is Kinder Morgan with the money they will make if granted access to our land. We will be the ones who pay the price as our property values drop and our beautiful forest have CO2 pumps destroying our enchanted vistas. I ask myself, is this what I want to hand down to my children and grandchildren, a 214 mile pipeline running across our state?
Please, voice your opposition to this pipeline immediately and help New Mexico remain the Land of Enchantment.
More information can be found on the BLM website at: http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/more/lands_realty/lobos_co2_pipeline.html and Comments and concerns can be sent to: BLM Socorro Field Office, Attention: Andi Knight, 901 S. Highway 85, Socorro, NM 87801.
Dina L. Soto