With apologies to Mother Goose: “Peters, Peters, Forest Eater!” Thanks to Sterling Grogan and MacKenzie Allen for their letters (“Development eyed for Pecos Valley is too destructive” and “Preserve the land,” July 21) protesting Gerald Peters’ truly devastating plan to develop Cow Creek Ranch in the pristine Pecos River Valley. We who are privileged to live in the foothills of the Sangres find peace, beauty and spiritual renewal there — strong enough even to relieve the weights of political division, climate change, COVID-19 and corporate greed, if only for a few hours.

Peters’ plan to despoil the Pecos Wilderness now adds to the darkness when he could bring light. We have a few weeks before Indian Market, which will take place under Peters’ many windows. The wilderness was kept pristine for thousands of years by our neighbors, the Indigenous peoples who understand, preserve and value the land and its animals.

Melanie Dugan

Santa Fe

Smart reading

I hope The New Mexican doesn’t mind a bit of praise. I have not regularly read a print newspaper for many years — I get my news online from various sources. However, I am on an extended visit to the Santa Fe area, and my hosts receive your paper daily. Part of my routine now is sitting down to read the paper. While newspaper readership is declining, and while many midsized city dailies put me off with a subtle, Republican and conventional slant, I find your coverage relevant and fascinating. I’ve been enlightened by stories about the water supply, by Micaela Cadena’s My View response to the refusal of Communion to state Sen. Joe Cervantes (“Communion refusal sends dangerous message,” July 25) and by a story about discontinuing New Mexico’s for-profit prisons (“As state retakes control of some private prisons, strategy is questioned,” July 25). Many newspapers seem designed to make readers ignorant. When I read yours, I get a bit smarter. Thank you.

Laura Marland

Duluth, Minn., and Santa Fe

Explore all options

Former New York Gov. George Pataki’s column (“Avangrid is the right partner for New Mexico,” My View, July 27) plus all the full-page ads make the Avangrid/Iberdola option for New Mexico’s energy future sound almost too good to be true. To be sure, even a reframed and reinvigorated Public Regulation Commission would have its hands full regulating an international company from Santa Fe. Maybe Avangrid is the best option. But before we go down that rabbit hole, let’s look at, price and evaluate all the possibilities — public, private, foreign and domestic — so that the choice we make for our energy future is balanced and factual, not reaching for the first bright shiny object that comes along.

Peter Smith

Santa Fe

Embrace potential

I read with interest the recent piece regarding the successful launch of Virgin Galactic and the spirited and forward thinking of then-Gov. Bill Richardson and Sir Richard Branson (“Spaceflight is wonderful news for New Mexico,” My View, July 18). Our state finds itself at a similar crossroad as our leaders contemplate the PNM-Avangrid merger. The question should be, as it was at the inception of New Mexico’s bold step into the new space frontier, do we posses the vision to embrace the proven capability Avangrid provides to enhance and advance our natural abundance of clean energy potential? Scrutiny and serious evaluation are of course necessary, including, I suppose, service interruptions that occurred last year during major storm events that are the focus of detractors of the transition.

Our state cannot afford to be trapped again into small thinking that would sacrifice excellence in the pursuit of perfection and jeopardize another once-in-a-generation opportunity. The demonstration of Avangrid’s proven ability and leadership to providing clean, reliable, affordable energy to customers around the world, and the important opportunities the pending merger will provide our state, should not be sacrificed by interest groups or individuals bent on promoting their own relevance rather than embracing the potential sitting on our doorstep.

Brian Condit


Charter schools work

In response to Maureen Cashmon (“Charter School would hurt SFPS students,” Letters to the Editor, July 25): First, thank you for admitting that charter schools provide for a better educational outcomes than the public school system. Second, the question posed is the wrong one: “Should the benefits of 600 students outweigh those of the 12,000 not enrolled in the charter school?” Rather we should ask, ”Isn’t it better to educate 600 kids rather than none?” Perhaps the the entire Santa Fe school system should be run by charter schools.

Andie Perrealt

Santa Fe

Not the answer

Paul Gessing pulls a sleight of hand when he says natural gas is the answer (“Heinrich’s coming for your stove and gas heater,” My View, July 25). U.S. CO2 emissions have been falling for a decade because we have switched from coal to natural gas. But this will not get us to net-zero emissions, where we need to be. Natural gas still produces significant CO2, and promoting it in the face of disastrous warming is criminal.

Steven Rudnick, Ph.D.

Santa Fe

(6) comments

Jim Klukkert

Thanks Ms. Laura Marland, for your thoughtful support for our daily print media. The New Mexican is a recurring gift, though many on it’s web comments pages seem only to appreciate their own narrow perspectives.

I hope you have discovered “Without Reservations” by Ricardo Cate, a truly unique Southwestern perspective.

William Craig

Re: “Embrace potential” —

Mr. Condit was Richardson’s chief of staff from mid-2008 through 2010, the time when Richardson and Branson’s mutual friend (and major campaign donor) Jeffrey Epstein was serving his famously light sentence in Florida.

Remember also that Sir Richard’s flying machine has yet to carry a single paying passenger despite ¼-billion N.M. taxpayer dollars already spent on the “Spaceport America” white elephant.

Perhaps Sir Richard is too devoted to hosting NXIVM gatherings on his Virgin island (30 miles from Epstein's) with heiress Clare Bronfman (sentenced to 6½ years in New York).

Or perhaps the kind Sir is too devoted to his newfound hobby at The Bail Project (a 501(c)(3) “charity” eligible for tax-exemption because of its alleged benefit to society).


William Craig

By the way, Branson’s knighthood status is an “honour” also bestowed on Harvey Weinstein, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Kevin Spacey, Jimmy Savile, Benito Mussolini, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Henry Kissinger and his protégé Klaus Schwab.

The late Prince Philip, who repeatedly expressed his wish to be reincarnated as a deadly virus, was “Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” (among other titles).

Khal Spencer

No, Steven, promoting natural gas is not "criminal". Show me the statute. Its the far lesser of two evils compared to this state's historical reliance on coal burning. Zero emissions? Of course not, but there is no environmental free lunch for high living Americans.

Also, since the environmental movement has made clean nuclear energy a demon, I have long parted ways with its propaganda.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has outsourced much of its industrial production to China and elsewhere, relying on them to make stuff, often using highly polluting stationary sources. I don't hear anyone on the Left or in the environmental movement saying much about that constant stream of boxes delivered in little brown trucks that deliver goods made halfway across the planet. Cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze.

Zero net emissions is a chimera until we change our lifestyles.

Khal Spencer

I went back and re-read Paul Gessing's essay. I found nothing disingenuous in it. He states clearly that natural gas is a CO2 emitter but correctly states that it is less harmful than coal since gas produces less Carbon per gram than coal (since burning methane produces 1 CO2 molecule and 2 water molecules rather than all CO2 molecules) as well as more heat per gram, at least per this source: https://www.ausetute.com.au/fuelenergy.html

Also, the traditional useage of "clean" refers to traditional pollutants such as the heavy metals, uranium, rare earth elements, and radioactive decay products in coal. Coal, formed in a reducing environment, scavenges all this stuff and it is released when burned, requiring scrubbers; "clean coal" is an oxymoron. The main reason for high mercury in north Pacific top of the food chain fish is Asian coal burning. Interestingly, coal fly ash is being considered as a economic source of rare earth elements. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/06/210623091213.htm

With declining hydropower due to long term reductions in projected Colorado River flows and the Left's paranoia about nuclear power (fissioning an atom produces roughly a million times more energy than burning it), I hope folks are planning on smaller homes and fewer electric devices. Dr. Rudnick is wise to remind us there are no free lunches, including the use of natural gas, but let's not make perfect the enemy of good.

Richard Reinders

Andie, push for voucher system and you will see better outcome for your children's education.

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