The Power Line Volume 3, Issue 1

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News from Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy

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The PowerLine Presenting a Clear Viewof the
Complete Energy Picture
Volume 3, Issue 1
January 2007


Happy New Year from CARE!

The New Year is already upon us and 2007 will be a new year for CARE in more ways that one. On January 1st I assumed the new roles of Senior Advisor and full Board Member. I am very excited about the change, which will allow me spend more time doing such things as thinking through big-picture energy issues. Replacing me in the position of Executive Director is Marita Noon, who has worked as CARE’s Program Services director for many months. Marita brings an enthusiastic approach to the position that will help CARE to become an even more potent force in cutting through the misinformation and disinformation that unfortunately pervades the public discussion of energy issues. I hope that 2007 will be a powerful and productive year for you and your business. We at CARE certainly plan to make it a banner year in sending clear and accurate energy information to a confused public.

Mark Mathis
CARE Founder & Senior Advisor

This Month Read About:
  • What's Happening at CARE:
  • CARE Board Member Makes the News
  • Second Term Objectives for the Energy Industry
  • Energy Efficient Building First of its Kind in New Mexico
  • Polar Bear Politics
  • CARE Members Involved in Looking for Oil in Albuquerque

  • CARE Board Member Makes the News

    As a fifth generation rancher, CARE Board Member Jim Chilton naturally has a great respect for the land. As a “cowboy,” Jim says, “everyday is Earth Day.” That’s why the attack he has faced for the last ten years from the Center for Biological Diversity (“The most important radical environmental group in the country”—New Yorker Magazine) hit him “like a kick.” Jim fought back.

    Chilton’s grazing permit includes 21,500 acres of Federal Forest Service Lands south of Tucson, Arizona. In 2002 the U. S. Forest Service reissued the 10-year renewal of his permit and that re-ignited the multi-year battle.

    The Center for Biological Diversity has already stopped timber companies (virtually destroying the timber industry in Arizona and New Mexico) and housing developers. Ranching has been one of its targets for decades and their website states, “We are opposing any new oil and gas drilling" (referencing the Los Padres National Forest in California). Their attacks are organized, they are no “ragtag band of environmental do-gooders.” They have been successful in forcing the government to bend to its will.” Having found power in the weapon of the Endangered Species Act, they use it to create legal roadblocks, halt development and curtail business interests by filing suit after suit. Their financial records indicate that a substantial portion of their operating costs comes from settlements with the Federal Government.

    Faced with the record of winning its suits, Jim Chilton regarded The Center for Biological Diversity to be a ‘school-yard bully.” However, Jim did not give up. “As a cowboy,” he says, “You stand up and fight for truth, justice, integrity and honor.”

    In June of 2003 Jim filed suit against the Center for Biological Diversity. With numerous rulings back and forth, a decision was reached in January 2005 that awarded $600,000 in favor of Chilton in a defamation lawsuit—allowing them to recoup a portion of monies spent in this ten-year battle. Referencing the Center for Biological Diversity, the jury foreman stated, “They acted irresponsibly, and they should have tried to work it out instead of wasting everybody’s time.” He says the damages were, partly, a way of scolding the environmentalists for letting the matter even go to trial. The idea was to punish wrongdoers and deter others from following in their footsteps. In May 2005, the Center asked the judge to throw out the verdict. Finally, on December 6, 2006, an Arizona District Court of Appeals upheld the decision in favor of the Chiltons—validating the rulings of the lower court.

    Defending his ranching practices, Chilton says, “Ranching has changed since the days of my great, great grandfather and great grandfather.” Back then it wasn’t uncommon for ranchers to put as many cattle on the land as it could support. But today ranching, like mining and drilling, is science. The only way a rancher can survive is by taking a long term view—which most importantly includes care for the environment. Ranchers utilized grazing plans developed by range scientists, moving cattle from one pasture to another, giving the land recovery time, enhancing wildlife habitat and, promoting biological diversity.

    CARE is proud to have someone like Jim Chilton in an advisory position. Jim hopes his hard-fought win encourages others faced with unjust attacks from radical environmental groups. He says, “You can’t compromise away your rights and freedoms.” Congratulations Jim on standing up against the “actual malice” of a radical environmental group!

    For more information on this case, please visit: Freedom21 Radio and Phoenix New Times and Gazet te Times
    These sites were used as sources in this article.


    Second Term Objectives for the Energy Industry
    Pat Lyons

    As I begin my second term, I renew my promise to New Mexico’s families: to safeguard the Land Grant Permanent Fund so children of every generation can attend schools of excellence. But, no commissioner can undertake this mission alone. Every member of my team, and each of our lessees, plays a pivotal role in shaping New Mexico’s future. Our success demonstrates the power of the public and private sectors working together.

    I will continue to support energy production on trust lands, not only for New Mexico, but for America. I intend to step up frontier production in new areas of the state to ensure a consistent revenue stream for generations to come. In an effort to improve customer service, the Oil, Gas and Minerals Division will streamline the reporting process. The Royalty Management group will accelerate the audit program to guarantee that our beneficiaries receive every dollar they are due. To augment this effort, the Land Office is moving forward to upgrade ONGARD, so that revenues are tracked properly and accounted for. There are no limits to growth and progress. We must set new standards and bench marks for the Land Office and for future commissioners who will manage the trust well into the 21st century.
    Patrick Lyons, Commissioner of Public Lands


    Energy Efficient Building First of its Kind in New Mexico
    Jefferson Green

    Congratulations to Dekker/Perich/Sabbatini (the largest architecture firm in New Mexico) for the recent Award of Excellence in the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties New Mexico Chapter’s Office Project/Large Division. D/P/S received the award on December 15 for their work on the Jefferson Green office building near the northwest corner of Jefferson and Masthead (Albuquerque) in the Journal Center. The 87,000 foot building is a private project without grant funding and is the first project to pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Core and Shell certification in New Mexico .

    Following the LEED guidelines, Jefferson Green uses 45 percent less energy than a typical office building. This is achieved by through a combination of features. The exterior design is made of a thick stucco wall perforated by deeply recessed windows with a sleek curtain wall system. Glazing and shading strategies vary with the orientation of each façade. The high performance glazing is shaded by integral external horizontal shades to balance daylight penetration with energy efficiency. The reflective, high-emissivity roof membrane helps reduce cooling load. The building is cooled by an evaporative air system, backed by refrigerated air for muggy days, and has windows that open allowing for “free” cooling using the outside air. An air system under the floor with multiple vents also allows individual occupants to adjust the temperature in their immediate work areas.

    D/P/S looks at projects holistically, with engineers, planners, landscape architects and interior designers involved in each step. The process produces efficient, environmentally sensitive and functional structures that make sense with how you will use them. For more information, visit: dpsdesign.org


    Polar Bear Politics
    polar bear

    After being alerted to the tactics of the Center for Biological Diversity though Jim Chilton’s interactions with them, CARE found the following comments from a Wall Street Journal (January 3, 2007) article to be worthy of note. (Presented as a summary, direct quotes from the WSJ are identified with quotation marks.)

    The Interior Department submitted a proposal on December 27, 2006 recommending that the polar bear be listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. The filing meets a deadline from a legal settlement with three environmental advocacy groups: the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace. (Source: Washington Post, December 27, 2006) They argue that the government has not responded quickly enough to the polar bear's plight. “The closer you inspect this decision, however, the more it looks like the triumph of politics over science.” “The real story here is a human one, namely about the politics of global warming.”

    “The Bush Administration was sued by the usual environmental suspects to make this decision, which means that Interior will now conduct a year-long review before any formal listing decision is made.” The department has been examining the status of polar bears for more than two years. “There are in fact more polar bears in the world now than there were 40 years ago.” “A 2002 U. S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Artic Refuge Coastal Plain concluded that the ice bear populations ‘may now be near historic highs.’” “In some areas, they are overly abundant.” “Polar Bears are also protected from poaching and environmental damage by the Marine Mamma; Protection Act, so there is little advantage to the bears themselves from an ‘endangered’ classification.”

    Upon announcement of the pending study, Kassie Siegel from the Center for Biological Diversity, told the New York Times, “‘Even this administration’ would not be able to ‘write this proposal without acknowledging that the primary threat to polar bears is global warming and without acknowledging the science of global warming.’ Her outfit was one of those who sued the feds in the first place. For want of a few hundred polar bears, the entire U. S. economy could be vulnerable to judicial dictation.”

    Having reviewed the Center for Biological Diversity’s tactics in dealing with Jim Chilton, one can suspect similar techniques and goals were present in their case against the Federal Government. Also worthy of note is a new suit filed against the Bush administration by the Center on December 19—this one to protect sea otters.


    CARE Members Involved in Looking for Oil in Albuquerque
    Oil rig

    My next door neighbor wanted to drill a well. I live in the mountains outside of Albuquerque where you either have a well or you have your water delivered. We have a 5000 gallon tank and get it filled as needed. My neighbor decided he wanted a well. There would have been no reason for me to get involved in his well except that to access the best location for the well, the drilling equipment had to use my dirt road and drive through my meadow to get to the desired location. They had to notify me on the appropriate days and I left my gate open to give them access. It was the neighborly thing to do.

    Over the weekend, I was in the valley on my land. There, through the snow, in the middle of the meadow I saw deep grooves and dirt protruding out above the snow. Upon close inspection, it was nothing to worry about. It was the remnants of my neighbor’s drilling rig that had been hauled through my land.

    For a few days I heard some engine-type noises. And now I have some tire marks on my land that will be gone in a rain or two. Otherwise his drilling project had no impact on me.

    Having lived through this minor inconvenience—that greatly benefited my neighbors—I was surprised to learn that the drilling of an oil well has a similar impact on the surroundings. The difference is, when an oil drilling rig pulls out—leaving only the pump to bring the oil to the surface, they’d have restored the meadow. If my neighbor had been drilling for oil, I wouldn’t have tire tracks on my land!

    The drilling processes have changed since oil was first discovered here in New Mexico back in 1924. What was once a messy and invasive process now has virtually no impact on the environment. The oil and gas business is nothing like what we used to see on television’s Dallas. It is experts quietly going about their craft. So quietly, you probably didn’t know your neighbors’ are drilling.

    Just ten miles west of Albuquerque, skill and science have come together to do what couldn’t have been done 30 years ago when others tried.

    We could be talking about Eclipse Aviation. Over the years, many people—and large sums of money— worked to create a cost-effective, personal jet. They failed. Eclipse has received front-page coverage and is putting Albuquerque on the map with their success. But this story is not about Eclipse. It is about some members of CARE who are doing what couldn’t have been done thirty years ago.

    Back in the seventies Shell Oil, and others, looked for oil in Albuquerque—but they were unable to reap any product. Today, these CARE Members are drilling in the regions Shell abandoned. They are utilizing the extensive previous seismic data, combining it with modern technology, and are expecting different results.

    Ron Broadhead, a petroleum geologist at the Bureau of Geology and Minerals at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology says, “There’s two ways of exploring for oil and gas: You can put a lot of science into it or a little. Putting a lot of science can’t guarantee success, but it improves the chances.” In the past the presence of hydrocarbons were not large enough to be commercially viable and the technology was not as advanced as it is today. Based on past and current data, it is believed that the Albuquerque basin holds the potential to generate $6.24 billion in gross sales.

    My neighbor’s water well caused me a few days of distant noise. After that I got nothing but some tire tracks. The drilling going outside of Albuquerque is such that you probably didn’t even know it is happening. It has no impact on your daily life—today. But if these investors and explorers succeed, they’ll deserve front page coverage in the Albuquerque newspapers—much like Eclipse Aviation—for the economic benefit they’ll bring to New Mexico. The operator in charge of this project says “local and state government have done their jobs, asked appropriate questions and have been fair, understanding and reasonable. I believe they understand the potential economic impact both in terms of revenue to the state and county, but also to employment.”

    As the oil and gas reserves in New Mexico mature, they’ll produce not only less oil and gas, they’ll produce less income to our state—something New Mexico relies heavily upon to stay off the bottom rung of the “poorest states” listings. This new drilling in Albuquerque has the potential to be, as land manager Knute Lee says, “gargantuan.” Their potential success will profit not only the investors in this one-million-dollar-per-well project, the future could hold “gargantuan” benefits to the people of Albuquerque and New Mexico. If these CARE Members succeed where others failed thirty years ago, they’ll deserve front page coverage! Watch for updates on this local story.
    Marita Noon, Executive Director


    What's Happening at CARE:

    • Speech Contest
    Plans are rapidly moving forward for a statewide student speech contest sponsored and organized by CARE. Students from UNM, NMSU and NMT will be invited to enter with a speech addressing energy reality. Regional contests will be held at each school in March with the final round being held in Santa Fe in April. Students will be competing for scholarship funds and qualifying speakers will be promoted to civic clubs state-wide where they will give their winning presentations. The speech contest is one way CARE is presenting a clear view of the complete energy picture to the public.

    CARE members are invited to get involved on several levels. Join us at the regional and/or final competitions as a judge, contribute to the scholarship fund and/or contact your local Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis--or others--Club regarding scheduling an award winning presenter from CARE.

    For more information on the speech contest, please visit: www.responsiblenergy.org.

    • Energy Tribune
    If you are a member of CARE, watch your mail box for an important and informative magazine: The Energy Tribune. Due to a special arrangement between CARE and the publishers, everyone on the CARE membership roster will receive three FREE issues of The Energy Tribune--January, February and March. We believe you will find this magazine to be such a valuable resource and great education that you will want to subscribe so you do not miss out on subsequent issues.

    If you are not yet a member of CARE, you can join today and still get included in this special offer. Sign up on our website: Join CARE For more information on The Energy Tribune, please visit: www.EnergyTribune.com

    • Farmington, January 10
    Both CARE's Senior Advisory Mark Mathis and Executive Director Marita Noon will be in Farmington on January 10 for two meetings aimed at increasing CARE Membership and connecting with current CARE Members. First is a luncheon at Merrion Oil & Gas. Later in the day they will meet with Halliburton employees at Halliburton's Monthly Safety Meeting.

    If you are in the area, Mark and Marita would love to meet while they are in the area. Please contact Marita at 505.798.6959 or marita@responsiblenergy.org for more information.
    • Land Office, January 16
    CARE's Executive Director Marita Noon will be at the New Mexico State Land Office for the oil and gas lease auction and at the following Tecton Reception. If you will be there, please notify Marita so you can connect.
    • Legislative Session, January 18
    CARE will have a display table in the rotunda at the Roundhouse during the new legislative session on January 18. If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello and meet the new Executive Director Marita Noon.

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