Tipping Point NM episode 444: Lindsey Burke – Education Freedom Report Card

On this week’s interview Paul talks to Lindsey Burke, PhD of the Heritage Foundation. Lindsey has been a long-time researcher and advocate for education choice and she and her team recently published the Heritage Foundation’s “Education Freedom Report Card.” Paul and Lindsey discuss New Mexico’s performance on the Index and what could be done to improve it. Also, they discuss the policies that make some states leaders in educational freedom and what “blue” states like New Mexico are or can do to improve educational freedom.

The map below (from the report) contains a link to the report and there is a link above as well.

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New Mexico doesn’t need higher taxes…on alcohol or anything else

Despite having no less than $2.5 billion in surplus revenue next year when the Legislature convenes, New Mexico Democrats are making noise about raising taxes on alcohol.

Currently, New Mexico’s alcohol taxes are right in the middle when it comes to US states. So, why would legislators want to raise taxes? A report from New Mexico Indepth released earlier this year included all manner of harrowing statistics including those below.

Various studies purport to show that raising alcohol taxes is the best way to address alcohol abuse, but higher taxes are a blunt instrument indeed. It would seem that before penalizing ALL alcohol users in New Mexico for the behavior of a few that we might want some analysis of WHY New Mexico has such serious alcohol problems in the first place.

Clearly, New Mexico’s overall taxes on alcohol which are right in the middle of the pack don’t explain the situation. Neighboring Colorado and Texas have the 2nd and 3rd lowest tax burdens on alcohol in the nation and are not experiencing the same problems as New Mexico (according to the study).

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Tipping Point NM Episode 443: Debate Analysis, Ronchetti at UPS, NEE and PNM/Avangrid, CA outlaws gas heat

KOB TV Debate wrap up and discussion;

Further breakdown of the ABQ Journal responses of both candidates.

MLG rescinds order relating to public health used in Ronchetti ad.

RGF makes news due to Governor candidate Mark Ronchetti’s visit to UPS facility. RGF weighs in.

A local Starbucks votes to unionize.

There is zero evidence the recent hurricane to hit Florida is the result of global warming; In fact, the end of August saw the development of NO named storms. There were no tropical storms or hurricanes in the month of August in 1961 (pre-satellite era) and 1997.

Credit where credit is due to the New Energy Economy on PNM/Avangrid merger.

As NM shuts down coal plants to defeat climate change, China builds MUCH more.

California Air Resources Board to prohibit natural gas heaters/furnaces (will MLG follow suit if elected?).

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This fall, New Mexico voters should watch out for Constitutional Amendment 2

Most of the attention on non-candidate measures on this fall’s ballot will be on the plan to tap one of New Mexico’s oil and gas-generated “permanent funds” to provide pre-K and other early childhood programs.

But, voters should be aware of and concerned over proposed Amendment 2 on their ballots.

If adopted, the Amendment would add (another) exception to the state’s anti-donation clause to authorize the Legislature to appropriate state funds for infrastructure that provides “essential services.” The amendment defines essential services as “infrastructure that allows internet, energy, water, wastewater or other services provided by law.”

The State already provides various subsidies for broadband and other “utilities,” but the anti-donation clause simply prohibits government paying to directly provide such services to people. In other words, if adopted, there is no limit on who taxpayer dollars could be handed over to and there is very little restricting what could be done with those dollars. For example, your tax money could be used to build a road or water line on private property, with the road and water line then owned by the property owner, not the state.

You can read additional pro/con arguments (on all three amendments) provided by the Legislature here. Here is an article from the Albuquerque Journal.

What you should know about the proposed 2020 New Mexico amendments

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OPEC cuts production, oil prices see bump (analysis)

Today, the global cartel (OPEC) that controls much of the world’s oil production, decided to reduce oil production (contrary to Biden Administration wishes). OPEC is notorious for member states “cheating” on these limits, but prices DID jump on Wednesday meaning that this is a credible reduction in OPEC production.

Here’s what it all means:

1) After declining for several months, it is unlikely that gas prices will drop before the election. In fact, they could rise which is a political liability for the Biden Administration and Democrats.

2) OPEC cutting production further reinforces New Mexico’s already-strong surplus for the upcoming legislative session. While New Mexico’s oil boom is driven by production increases, recent price declines COULD have started to bite into that $2.5 billion surplus. That is unlikely to happen unless the US/global economy.

3) As we noted recently, while the Biden Administration has attempted to take credit for recent price reductions at the pump, oil and gas permitting on federal lands has been virtually nil. This could have longer term implications for New Mexico which is more dependent than any other state on federal leasing.

OPEC+ to consider oil cut of over than 1 million barrels per day | Reuters

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Rank and file vs. union brass

Recently, New Mexico GOP candidate Mark Ronchetti spoke to a group of United Parcel Service (UPS) workers at a facility in Rio Rancho. This is usually the kind of thing that happens dozens or hundreds of times throughout a given campaign, but (as I note in the story above), Ronchetti was treading into “enemy” territory.

Why is that? UPS is a heavily unionized company and unions jealously attempt to protect those votes on behalf of the Democratic Party. This is true despite the fact that union members often vote for non-Democrats. NPR commented during the 2016 cycle about Donald Trump’s support among Teamsters.

Another interesting article (see chart below) from a pro-union website show union members to be MORE Republican than other union-oriented households. Naturally, the Teamsters brass was NOT amused that their memberships had a chance to hear a non-Democrat candidate share his message, but winning political races involves reaching out to those who don’t automatically plan to vote for you.

Union political activity contradicting their members’ views was a key issue in the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision and it should drive states to enact Right to Work laws nationwide.

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California follows Sen. Heinrich’s playbook, bans natural gas heaters/furnaces

A few days ago, New Mexico’s radical leftist Senator (again) hopped on his favorite hobby horse (complete electrification of your home through the elimination of things like gas water heaters and furnaces.

You can see his email below. But, the BIG news this week is California (fresh off banning gasoline cars despite not having enough electricity to keep the lights on) is now following Heinrich’s lead by banning natural gas water heaters and furnaces. This is being done (as was the gasoline car ban) by an unelected board.

Would MLG do the same thing here if reelected? One hopes this might be a topic of discussion in one of these debates. The New Mexico media seem patently unwilling to ask her these questions or where were are going to get the electricity from.

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Tipping Point Episode 442: Casey & Micayle Petersen – Sandia National Labs Whistle Blower/Freedom Families United

On this week’s interview Paul sits down with Casey and Micayle Petersen. Together they are the founders of Freedom Families United. At the outset Paul and Casey discuss his term at Sandia National Lab during which he blew the whistle on Critical Race Theory indoctrination. He ultimately left the Lab due to its COVID vaccine mandate.

Now, the couple has created Freedom Families United which works to unite pro-freedom families and educate them on the forces undermining individual liberty in New Mexico and around the nation.

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The pros and cons of hydrogen and hydrogen hubs in New Mexico

RGF’s Paul Gessing recently had the chance to sit down with two experts in the oil and gas industry who have different takes on plans (put forth by Gov. Lujan Grisham and supported by some in the Legislature and some in industry) for hydrogen and hydrogen hubs.

We at the Rio Grande Foundation had lots of questions and wanted to hear both sides of the issue. You can do the same with the interviews posted below. In support is George Sharpe of Merrion Oil and Gas based in Farmington.

In opposition is Larry Scott a Republican legislator and industry executive from Hobbs.

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RGF submits public comments in support of gulf oil/gas leasing

When it comes to issues surrounding oil and gas, the Rio Grande Foundation supports the industry. This is NOT because of the billions it provides our State every year or even the thousands of jobs it creates. We support the industry because we support human flourishing and energy allows humanity to flourish.

So, we support policies that allow energy development throughout the nation and even the world, including drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), under the Department of Interior, is currently collecting comments on a proposed lease sale (environmental groups are opposed to any new sales).

Click here for details and if you’d like to comment, please do (no later than October 6, 2022). Rio Grande Foundation’s comments can be found below (they are also available on BOEM’s website: l8n-a2s4-dvbe.

The following comments are on behalf of the Rio Grande Foundation, a public policy research organization based in Albuquerque, NM and working to make New Mexico more economically prosperous.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently released plans for offshore energy development for the next five years. Currently, BOEM’s plan only includes 10 lease sales over a 5-year period in the Gulf of Mexico and does NOT guarantee those sales will take place.

BOEM does not have an active leasing plan for the Gulf of Mexico and will be unable to hold any lease sales until the new plan is finalized. This will leave a multi-year gap in lease sales in the Gulf. The proposed plan needs to be finalized ASAP to help protect consumers and businesses from high energy prices!

The Gulf of Mexico produces 15% of our nation’s energy. The Rio Grande Foundation supports BOEM’s planned lease sale specifically and encourages opening the Gulf to ensure energy prices stay affordable for consumers.

New Mexico is the nation’s 2nd-biggest oil producing state. Nearly half of that oil is produced on federally managed land. So, while a New Mexican might be expected to oppose drilling in the Gulf in hopes of making New Mexico’s product more valuable, the reality is that we truly ARE all in this together. The federal government needs to expand, not contract, the ability of energy producers to bring oil and gas to Americans and potentially Western European nations as well who are dealing with shortages driven by Russia’s invasion.

Here are a few facts:

  • In FY2021, revenues totaled $4.1 Billion from OCS oil and gas activities.
  • If drilling in the Gulf is stopped, western states like New Mexico are likely to see a decline in lease sales on federal lands located within the state in the future; negatively impacting our state’s budget and infrastructure funding.
  • Oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico is some of the least carbon intensive oil produce anywhere in the world and will play a key role in reducing global carbon emissions.
  • The Gulf of Mexico funds conservation efforts across the country, including our national parks.
  • Producing American oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico helps protect consumers from instability in global markets.
  • If drilling in the Gulf is stopped, western states like New Mexico are likely to see a decline in lease sales on federal lands located within the state in the future; negatively impacting our state’s budget and infrastructure funding.

Energy abundance is critical to our way of life. The Gulf of Mexico is a big part of America’s energy picture. I urge you to approve this plan.

Ten Years After Deepwater Horizon, the Possibility of Offshore Oil Drilling in the Gulf Has Resurfaced | Sarasota Magazine

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