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Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Readers Write Of Taxes, The PNM Blackout And More 

If Gov. Martinez sticks to her no increase in taxes pledge we won't be seeing a a boost in the gasoline tax as some legislators are proposing. That's just fine with many of our readers, including Thomas Luna:

Regressive taxes, such as a gasoline tax, always settle out as a way to go get some money to balance budgets. Pity. All others tax avenues are narrowed down, from outside pressure, to a precious few. I don't like the way tax revenue burden is being moved down the line to lower income families: and I don't support that. Where is the proportional tax revenue burden sharing from up the line higher income families? And corporations? Not many, look out for the little guy.

A reader writes of the recent ABQ area blackout:

Joe, You wrote: "Why did a lightning strike at a lone transfer station expose nearly the entire electric grid in the state's largest metro to collapse? Where's the back-up?"

For over six years former ABQ GOP State Rep. Janice Arnold Jones talked about the danger that our national grid system and the NM grid system faces and how vulnerable the grid system is. Two years ago former US Senator Harrison Schmitt asked a question of the NM Homeland Security Department head and received almost a blank stare at the weekly Republican Party of Bernalillo County breakfast. Now you see what can happen and better realize that this is not far from a major problem. It is a danger that is under-appreciated and ignored by our state and city. It isn't PNM that is the problem...it is a national, state and local problem that is being ignored.

Reader Carol Nordengren writes of the Sunday outage:

Our outage should be a wake up call to everyone about the fragility of the electric grid, not just PNM. My experience with Abq preparedness is that when the power goes out, everybody jumps into their car to go buy gas. Good luck with that. Compared to other cities, states, two significant outages in 15 years is nothing short of a miracle. And, we were very lucky the outage came at night, after a rain storm, so nobody was sweltering.
Sure, PRC and PNM need to trouble shoot this, but the grid has inherent weaknesses which weather and trouble makers can exploit at any time. Power was out at my house for about 30 seconds. I'm glad I'm not hooked up to that main transmission line. This time we were lucky.

NO REAL CHANGE?

More on the environment front with Santa Fe reader Susan Martin. She weighs in on our report that outgoing state Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn is positioned to become the next executive director of the NM Oil and Gas Association:

Joe, there's no real change here. He'll just be receiving a larger paycheck from a different source. He's been representing polluting corporations throughout his tenure as general counsel and then Secretary of the Environment Department. As long as Susana Martinez, beholden to the dairy, copper, oil and gas industries, remains governor, the Environment Department will be restrained from effectively regulating to prevent air, ground and surface water contamination from these campaign contributors. I'm a former employee of the Environment Department during the Anaya and Carruthers administrations. In my view it has never been as tough for employees there who want to protect the environment as is has been under Susana Martinez.

WHEN IS THAT?

Gas prices are in the cellar and ABQ's population growth is flat but the spokesman for the ABQ transit department says not to worry:

DeReyes said he expects ridership numbers on the Central lines, and throughout the system, to rebound strongly as gas prices rise, and Albuquerque's population expands.

Gosh, and we we were starting to worry about things around here.

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