Errors of Enchantment

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Even in the middle of an oil boom New Mexico has weak personal income growth

10.04.2023

New Mexico is in the midst of an unprecedented oil and gas boom. Sadly, you wouldn’t know it from looking at the State’s economic policies or data. You also couldn’t tell from visiting its major cities where homelessness and crime run rampant and the economy remains dependent on federal spending and oil revenues.

According to Bureau of Economic Analysis data compiled by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity,  during 2022 New Mexicans experienced personal income growth that was slower than the national average in 2022. Pro-growth tax reforms like those enacted under the late Bill Richardson helped increase personal incomes in New Mexico. Sadly, even with a flood of oil revenue the Legislature and Gov. seem unwilling or unable to grasp the need for tax reform and reduction.

New Mexico personal incomes are among the very lowest in the United States, so there is plenty of room for improvement, but that requires better policies.

Opinion piece: Basic income worth honest study

10.02.2023

The following article appeared in several news outlets including the Las Cruces Sun News on September 28, 2023.

The idea of a “universal basic income” (UBI) has been around a long time. Most supporters are broadly on the left of the political spectrum,  but many conservative thought leaders including Charles Murray as well as Reagan officials like James Baker and George Schultz, have also been willing to consider the idea.

The idea behind UBI is simple: replace welfare payments to the poor with cash payments to empower the poor to manage their government benefits. Welfare programs have a bunch of hoops and phase-outs that can often disincentivize going from welfare to work. One problem with UBI (as other conservatives often point out) is that politicians are unwilling to eliminate the welfare programs and pay them out in a cash equivalent.

Sadly, this has proven out. In recent years there have been experiments, supposedly with UBI concepts, but they never actually result in replacement of welfare with cash. Instead, these approaches simply result in more cash. A 2021 Santa Fe program along those lines suffered the same flaw.

Now, Las Cruces has gotten into the mix. A privately funded guaranteed basic income project allocated 330 families $500 per month and ended in January. Results from the experiment haven’t been analyzed yet. Now, another experiment is going to happen. Thanks to $1.7 million dollars of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, multiple nonprofits in the Las Cruces community will provide $500 monthly payments over 18 months to 150 eligible Las Cruces families.”

Will the results of these experiments mean anything? Sure, most people, especially those with low incomes, will gladly take an extra $500 annually, but unless the UBI is a replacement as opposed to a supplement for existing welfare programs it will be rather meaningless in terms of broader welfare reform implications.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima, a Democrat, appears to be the only voice of reason in Las Cruces. He voted against the program and said, “I hope it doesn’t just turn into, hey, I got this money, this is great. And okay, it ran out, so what am I going to do now?”

The Mayor elaborated, saying, “We don’t have the money…people need to have an understanding of what it takes to run a government.” “It (money) just doesn’t come out of thin air. The reason why we are seeing a lot of inflation is because the country has printed a lot of money and there’s nothing to back it up.”

Miyagishima is right. And, while New Mexico is currently in the midst of an unprecedented oil boom that has brought in staggering amounts of money, politicians in Washington have driven the nation into debt and the situation shows no sign of improving. While the inflation rate has gone down, that inflation is piled on top of last year’s inflation, so prices continue to rise at a staggering pace that is harming New Mexico families.

Rather than piling on more debt to find ways to add more people to already overburdened welfare rolls the Biden Administration and both parties in Congress should cut spending and work to eliminate the scourge of inflation from our economy. That will do more to get people out of poverty than any half-baked “basic income” scheme, especially one funded by taxpayers.

Paul Gessing is president of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation. The Rio Grande Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility

💰 Universal Basic Income | Pros and Cons | UBI - YouTube

Important ABQ Journal editorial/opinion piece take on MLG’s EV overreach

10.02.2023

Alan LaSeck of the New Mexico Apartments Association penned an excellent opinion piece in the ABQ Journal detailing how the Gov.’s proposed commercial development EV charger mandate will make Albuquerque’s housing crisis even worse than it currently is.

In addition the editorial board weighed in with an excellent editorial further highlighting the issue. New apartments, hotels, motels, vacation timeshare properties, monasteries, and dormitories would be required to install EV chargers for 20% of their parking spaces. In addition, 50% of parking spots would have to have the infrastructure to be EV capable, and 5% would have to be EV ready. No hearings have been scheduled so far regarding this regulation.

On the issue of EV’s, the New Mexico Environment Department and the city of Albuquerque will host an in-person meeting about the Governor’s proposed rules from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Community Meeting Room at the International District Library, 7601 Central Ave NE. Those concerned about unfunded mandates and so-called “Environmental Justice Vehicle Values” should attend or send written comments to: https://nmed.commentinput.com/?id=TuMmsArBj

And, as usual cartoonist John Trever has a great commentary:

United stadium lease MUST account for cost overruns

10.02.2023

Several articles in the local media have discussed the broad details of a lease agreement between the United soccer team and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. The lease is scheduled to to be introduced to the council today and heard on Oct. 16. While we have not seen the lease (yet) there are a few details contained in the article above.

However, the most important question for City Council is potential cost-overruns. Back in April the LFC reported that construction costs had DOUBLED within the past year. In November of 2021 when voters overwhelmingly rejected a taxpayer financed stadium the bond was going to be for $50 million. Estimates at the time were that the stadium would cost between $65 and $70 million in total.

Now, after a doubling of construction costs (according to the LFC) the agreement is for the team to put up $30 million and the City to put up $13.5 million in state capital outlay dollars for a total of $43.5 million?

Either Keller and the team are “low-balling” their cost estimates or promoting a stadium that is so “bare bones” that it won’t be long before the team is asking for new features. WHO PAYS FOR THEM?

City Council MUST clearly spell out in the lease that ANY cost overruns and future additions be paid for by the United.

stadium site map.jpg

 

LFC report trashes NM film subsidies

09.29.2023

The Rio Grande Foundation has long been critical of New Mexico’s film subsidy program, but study after study (at least when they have been objective) have found the film subsidy program to be wasteful and an economic loser.

A brand new report from New Mexico’s Legislative Finance Committee only further buttresses the Foundation’s arguments. Here are a few items from the report which summarize its findings:

  • Evidence suggests film incentives are less effective at attracting private investment, cost more per job, and have a lower return on investment than other incentive programs.
  • (Film subsidies) cost more than twice as much per job as the other large economic development incentives.
  • Most state evaluations find film incentives have a negative fiscal ROI.
  • In the next five years, film subsidies paid out could grow by 171 percent, increasing from $100.2 million in FY23 to $272.1 million by FY28.

The film program is costly and is the very worst form of corporate welfare. It is great to see the LFC saying what RGF has been arguing for more than a decade.

Image below is courtesy KRQE Channel 13.

New report reveals film tax credits might not be the best investment for New Mexico

Tipping Pooint NM episode 543 Pete Dinelli – Homeless Policy and Issues

09.28.2023

On this week’s interview Paul talks to Pete Dinelli. Dinelli has a long track record of public service. He’s an unapologetic progressive Democrat and blogs at: https://www.petedinelli.com/

Paul and Pete discuss homeless policy in Albuquerque and some of the issues surrounding it. They also discuss a lot of data surrounding homelessness and the numerous factors that make homeless policy so difficult to implement successfully.

NM at bottom (and sliding) in SAT test results

09.27.2023

According to the education website Schoolaroo New Mexico has achieved yet another unenviable dead-last position in education.

Being in dead-last has become typical under Gov. Lujan Grisham who has pumped money into education while not reforming the system and closing New Mexico schools for over a year during COVID.

What is unknown is how various states administer the test and to whom and how those factors might affect New Mexico scores relative to students in other states.

Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that New Mexico’s applicants have fallen four positions in comparison to the previous year, now ranking at the bottom with a total average score of 953.

Tipping Point episode 542: Education Conference, Shooters Captured, Homeless Ruling, EV Mandate Enforcement and more

09.27.2023

Paul is in Savannah, Georgia. He discusses what has brought him there. Paul also recaps the OAKNM education conference which took place on Friday.

The shooters who precipitated MLG’s anti-gun health order were captured. They have (not surprisingly) been involved with the criminal justice system in the past and were not likely to be deterred by MLG’s anti-gun orders.

A MLG-appointed New Mexico district judge rules that the homeless can’t be removed from public spaces.

How will MLG’s potential EV mandate actually be enforced? Paul has a detailed answer.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s daughter has close ties to the Cuban government. This is especially concerning because hostile foreign nations have a long track record of supporting anti-energy forces in the US.

Our op-ed on MLG’s gun order and her long-standing disdain for “democracy” ran statewide. 

Push to force EV charging stations will only increase apartment rental prices

09.26.2023

In yet another attempt to “make fetch happen” on EV’s the State of New Mexico’s Construction Industries Division (CID) is considering regulations that would require new construction projects to make between 1% and 20% of their available parking EV-friendly spaces. Since charging stations cost between $7,000 and $18,000 each, that means prices of commercial projects and apartments will be much harder and more expensive to develop.

This is a problem especially since rents have been skyrocketing in Albuquerque and nationwide in recent years. If implemented on apartments the current proposed standards will increase costs by “several hundreds of thousands of dollars per multifamily property.”

According to Alan LaSeck, the executive director of the Apartment Association of New Mexico, “That actually stops properties from being built, or, we increase rent to make up the difference.”

Yet again, New Mexico is pushing EV’s in the name of being “green” while foisting the costs on the rest of us.

 

 

Judge rules “homeless” camps can’t be removed from public spaces

09.25.2023

Last week a New Mexico district judge ruled that the City of Albuquerque cannot clear “homeless” encampments out of public spaces. The case sprang out of the City’s decision to clear the dangerous and unclean Coronado Park encampment which had become a scene of serious drug trade/usage as well as 5 homicides, numerous assaults, and intensive application of police resources.

But, the ACLU sued and state District Judge Joshua Allison (appointed by Gov. Lujan Grisham in 2019) agreed. We at Rio Grande Foundation have regularly criticized the judiciary for their role in allowing crime to fester out of control. It is not surprising that a liberal MLG-appointed judge would view Coronado Park and other public camping as being okay or that the taxpayers of the City must provide the “homeless” housing in order to prevent them from occupying public spaces.

ABQ mayor to close Coronado Park, uprooting encampment amid housing  shortage - Source New Mexico

 

 

How will the State enforce Lujan Grisham’s EV mandates?

09.21.2023

With the Environmental Improvement Board starting to hold meetings over plans to force New Mexicans to buy electric vehicles (and regulations already in place to buy smaller numbers of EV’s starting next year) we figured it was worth looking at how these regulations will work. The simple answer is that car dealers have the most to lose as currently written.

So, we asked our friend Todd Myers who works on environmental policy in Washington State which is also foisting such regulations (all based on California’s) on its citizens. The answer is that the system will largely work as a “cap and trade” mechanism.

According to Myers, “When dealers sell EVs (or PHEVs) they generate credits. Those credits count toward their sales targets. Dealers who have more credits can sell them to those who need them. It is just another cap-and-trade system.”

For dealers who cannot make up the difference, they pay a penalty of 4 times the value of a ZEV credit.

Interestingly, the law applies to dealers and not to vehicle registrations. So, if someone went to El Paso to buy a gas-powered vehicle, they could bring it back to the state and register it (at least until the politicians decide to tie vehicle registrations to being electric.”

Here is the whole rule: 1962.4 ZEV Standards 2026+ (ca.gov)

Deb Haaland’s radical daughter has ties to Cuba’s communist government

09.21.2023

Biden Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is a radical who has done her “best” to oppose American energy.  Her daughter is perhaps even more radical and has raised concerns of conflict of interest given her environmental activism and her mother’s position.

Earlier this year Haaland decided to place large tracts of land around Chaco Canyon Monument off limits for economic activity. Opposing leasing in the vicinity of Chaco  was a target of her daughter’s activism.

A new report connects Haaland’s daughter to Cuba’s communist regime.  Specifically, the U.S.-based Venceremos Brigade, whose aim, according to a 1976 FBI report, “is the recruitment of individuals who are politically oriented and who someday may obtain a position, elective or appointive, somewhere in the U.S. government, which would provide the Cuban government with access to political, economic and military intelligence.”

Somah Haaland’s Pueblo Action Alliance is openly associated with the Venceremos Brigade.

Russian and Chinese groups have a long track record of supporting anti-energy groups. It is hardly a surprise that Cuba would be involved in the same type of activity.

Interior Secretary's Daughter Has Worked with Environmental Alliance Tied to Cuba Solidarity Group - The Foreign Desk | by Lisa Daftari

Opinion piece: Governor’s Disdain For Democracy Nothing New

09.20.2023

The following appeared in Las Cruces Sun-News on September 15, 2023 and in other papers across New Mexico.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently gained national headlines for her public health order which essentially banned carrying a gun in Bernalillo County, the State’s largest county by population. Her justification for this dramatic action was a recent shooting outside Isotopes Park, but residents of Bernalillo County and Albuquerque face and have faced these issues for years.

Each time a criminal uses a gun to kill or steal it is frustrating and sad event. Both the causes and solutions are complicated and controversial. No matter the crisis one person (including the Gov.) cannot simply suspend the rule of law and the US Constitution.

Many New Mexicans like me believe Albuquerque’s crime problem is the result of weak leadership at multiple levels: The City fails to enforce the law, Department of Justice policies further hamstring the police, “catch and release” judges that voters (sadly) keep electing, and an unwillingness of the Gov. and Legislature to pass laws addressing our serious crime problems. And those are just the public policy failures, not the societal ones.

Many New Mexicans carry guns in response to the threat of violence they face.

Any attempt to deal with crime needs to involve the Legislature and other State and local elected officials. This would be true even if New Mexico had Republicans in positions of political power which they don’t.

Sadly, Lujan Grisham is only taking the next logical step in accumulating political power to herself. Declaring a “health emergency” and then making all manner of policies regarding school and business openings as well as vaccines and masks with little public input or say-so was her approach during COVID.

Sadly, the same Democrats who run the Legislature and who failed to pass basic restrictions on the Gov.’s COVID powers (like a 45-day limit on her emergency powers) remain largely unwilling to address the Gov.’s latest overreach on guns (Sen. Joe Cervantes is one notable exception as he has spoken out in opposition).

This is not just about guns. Lujan Grisham has exhibited a pattern of taking powers whether they are hers to use or not. She is currently working through an unelected Environmental Improvement Board, not the elected Legislature, to impose drastic new mandates that will soon require 82% of vehicles sold in New Mexico to be electric.

Occasionally the Gov.’s anti-Democracy tactics are on seemingly minor issues. Back in the 2022 special session of the Legislature the Gov. requested $1 million to reduce fees on the struggling New Mexico Rail Runner Express. The funds were not allocated by the Legislature, but the Gov. decided to cut fares anyway on her own.

Gov. Lujan Grisham may or may not have a political future beyond the remainder of her current term of office. Despite impeachment proceedings that have been filed by the GOP, we will likely be stuck with this Gov. until her term expires the end of 2026 when her term expires.

But the entire Legislature is up next November. And when they are running for office, one of the very first questions voters need to ask them is what they will do to hold the Gov. accountable when she ignores the law.

They should start by speaking clearly and publicly in opposition to her “gun grab” and then they should enact limits on the duration and scope of executive power in public health emergencies.

Paul Gessing is president of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation. The Rio Grande Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility

Tipping Point NM episode 540 Governor’s Gun Order, Kohl’s Closes Due to Crime, Electric Vehicles Struggle and more

09.20.2023

On this week’s conversation Paul and Wally discuss the latest on MLG’s gun order and where we see things going from here.

On a related note Kohl’s in Coronado Mall has abruptly closed. Employees interviewed by KOB TV cited theft as a leading issue.

Biden’s own Energy Secretary experienced some issues firsthand and NPR was there to report on them. Also, a bill was passed in the US House that would stop states from banning gas vehicles. Only a few Democrats voted for it including Gabe Vasquez. RGF has also joined the Save our Cars coalition.

Poverty has risen quickly between 2021 and 2022.

An energy conference organized by Democrats in downtown Albuquerque and with speakers including Sen. Heinrich drew protesters opposed to carbon sequestration and nuclear. Do supposed environmentalists even WANT a solution? 

Another universal basic income program rolled out in Las Cruces. A prior program was privately funded, this one is funded with federal tax dollars. Neither really fit the “basic income” model.

Launches are happening at Spaceport America, but the ABQJournal is questioning the viability of Virgin Galactic and legislators are questioning the Facility’s financial impact.

New Mexico still faces massive health care problems

09.20.2023

Despite some modest efforts to address New Mexico’s growing health care crisis during the 2023 legislative session (ending GRT on doctors, reforming parts of its medical malpractice law) the State continues to face serious issues with its health care system.

For starters, hospitals were not addressed in the recent medical malpractice reform. Their cap is currently at $4.5 million and is heading to $6 million by 2026. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center CEO Lillian Montoya cited a 110% to 200% increase in insurance premiums.

According to the Albuquerque Journal rural hospitals are closing their obstetrics wards creating “maternity care deserts.” Reasons given include staffing issues  and low reimbursement from Medicaid. 47% of New Mexicans are on Medicaid according to the Legislative Finance Committee.

According to so-called “progressives” in the Legislature the “solution” is to simply expand Medicaid. According to the ABQ Journal, the idea is to open the door for nearly all nonelderly New Mexicans under 65 to enroll in Medicaid.

Further expansion of Medicaid would likely suffer from the same issues as it did when it was expanded under ObamaCare. No significant health improvements occurred under that law. 

While health care and the issues New Mexico is facing our not unique, the State should consider reforming its medical malpractice law relating to hospitals while also working to encourage New Mexicans to obtain private insurance rather than further expanding Medicaid.

Meaningless “basic income” experiments in Las Cruces

09.18.2023

Evan many conservative thought leaders have been willing to consider the idea (called Universal basic income) of replacing welfare payments to the poor with cash payments. The idea is pretty simple: welfare programs have a bunch of hoops and phase-outs that can often disincentivize going from welfare to work. One problem (as other conservatives often point out) is that politicians are unwilling to eliminate the welfare programs and pay them out in a cash equivalent.

In recent years there have been experiments, supposedly with UBI concepts, but they never actually result in replacement of welfare with cash, they simply result in more cash. We critiqued a 2021 Santa Fe program along those lines.

Now, Las Cruces has gotten into the mix. A privately funded guaranteed basic income project allocated 330 families $500 per month and ended in January. Results haven’t been analyzed yet. Now, thanks to $1.7 million dollars of federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, multiple nonprofits in the Las Cruces community will provide $500 monthly payments over 18 months to 150 eligible Las Cruces families”

Will the results of these experiments mean anything? Sure, most people, especially those with low incomes, will gladly take an extra $500 annually, but unless the UBI is a replacement as opposed to a supplement for existing welfare programs it will be rather meaningless.

Interestingly, Mayor Ken Miyagishima, a Democrat, appears to be the only voice of reason in Las Cruces government. He said, “I hope it doesn’t just turn into, hey, I got this money, this is great. And okay, it ran out, so what am I going to do now?”

Universal Basic Income: The reasons why it's a terrible idea. – The Trailblazer

Launches are finally happening at Spaceport, but financial viability remains a question

09.18.2023

After more than a decade of waiting New Mexicans can be forgiven for considering the recent paid tourism launches out of Spaceport America “good enough” and moving on.

But, in a rare indepth story that questions the financial viability of lead tenant Virgin Galactic, the Albuquerque Journal recently highlighted the fact that there are still serious questions about the viability of operations at Spaceport America. There are also some in the New Mexico Legislature who would like the cash-rich State to take over control of the facility in a move to aid local governments which continue to tax themselves to keep the facility afloat.

A recent economic analysis of the Spaceport purported to show significant positive financial impact on New Mexico’s economy. Sen. Joe Cervantes (D), expressed skepticism of those numbers as would anyone looking at a report paid for by the Spaceport Authority and designed to justify its existence.

One paragraph summarizes Virgin Galactic’s situation:

Virgin Galactic is bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars a year to build its next-generation fleet of Delta Class spaceships, with many more financial hurdles still on the horizon as it strives to ramp up its manufacturing capacity and build out the infrastructure and services it needs to sustain business operations in the long term.

Even as it has gotten manned space tourism launches underway in recent months Virgin Galactic’s stock price continues to plummet.

RGF has long contended that spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars to build and maintain the facility was an unwise move by the Richardson Administration and the Legislature.

Radical environmentalists a hindrance to environmental solutions

09.15.2023

Here a the Rio Grande Foundation we love to disagree with radical environmental US Senator Martin Heinrich and others who would both blow billions of our tax dollars on environmental projects while regulating the US economy and energy production in an attempt to eliminate CO2 emissions. All while doing nothing to limit growing CO2 emitters China and India.

But there is always someone crazier, especially on the environment and sadly the supposedly “pro-environment” protestors who attempted to disrupt a Democrat-sponsored meeting in Downtown Albuquerque yesterday are ultimately outside the boundaries of rational argument.

According to the ABQ Journal, protestors implacably oppose not only carbon sequestration, but also nuclear energy (some of the signs make that clear). As per the usual, the “only” supportable forms of energy among the extremists are wind and solar.

But, as the chart below from the Energy Information Administration highlights, “renewables” account for just 13% of all US energy consumption. And, those “renewables” include numerous dirty biofuels and hydroelectric which is not available in large swaths of the nation. Wind and solar combine for about 42% of “renewables” which means they account for a whopping 6% of all US energy consumed (after decades of heavy subsidies).

Tipping Point NM episode 539: Developments at Estancia Valley Classical Academy

09.15.2023

On this week’s interview Paul sits down with Estancia Valley Classical Academy parent Craig Springer and teacher Traci Erickson. EVCA was until recently affiliated with Hillsdale College and its Barney charter school project.

Paul believes EVCA is one of the “crown jewels” of New Mexico’s K-12 education system and developments at the school are critical to the movement for a freer Land of Enchantment.

“Bidenomics” is losing the war on poverty

09.14.2023

Americans are anxious about the US economy and for good reason. Americans are poorer now than they have been. Of course those of us who care about the federal government’s finances (Biden seems not to) are also concerned by the out-of-control debt that has been piled on in recent years.

But, as Stephen Moore points out in a new article, Biden’s policies have increased poverty. This is no surprise to anyone who understands basic economics. Blowing money on so-called “green” boondoggles, massive spending and inflation, and rampant federal regulations (including on energy) have caused poverty to worsen significantly under Biden. See the very telling chart below.

RGF out and about in New Mexico

09.13.2023

There has been a lot going on at the Rio Grande Foundation recently. For starters, on the evening of September 12, RGF president Paul Gessing participated in a panel on homelessness and homeless policy (held under the auspices of the UNM Law School and Judge James Browning). The panel below included a diverse array of opinions on the subject. You can listen to a podcast on homelessness that Paul recorded with Judge Glock of the Manhattan Institute here.

RGF’s president was also in Socorro recently where he spoke to the Socorro Republican Party and visited with former NM House Speaker Don Tripp.

During his visit to Socorro Paul stopped by McDonald’s (around 8pm on a Thursday) and noticed the adjacent bank of EV chargers. By no means was there a throng of cars charging although there WAS one vehicle.

Finally, Paul and his wife Krista had  a chance to attend the Folds of Honor dinner over the last weekend. A few months ago Paul spoke to Col. Jim Quick who heads the NM Folds of Honor chapter which provides scholarship to families of fallen or injured military and first responders.

Episode 538: Gun Ban in Bernalillo County, COVID Past and Present, Literacy Institute Proposed, Issues with EVs and Mandates

09.13.2023

MLG goes full totalitarian with a ban on carrying guns in public in Bernalillo County. 

As COVID cases rise and some places reinstate restrictions, RGF notes that he and the skeptics were right and MLG and the lock downers were wrong. 

local blogger believes that since she won the election she was right about COVID.

MLG asks for a $30 million Literacy Institute.

As we move toward the EIB making a decision on MLG’s EV mandate RGF posts a fairly comprehensive list of issues with EV’s and EV mandates in particular.

The hits keep coming for EV’s: Biden energy secretary’s disastrous EV outing (and a coalition forms!)

09.13.2023

While a great deal of attention has been focused on Gov. Lujan’s anti-gun policies recently, but it is worth noting that she remains committed to eliminating individual choices New Mexicans make when they purchase a car.

A recent story involving Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm highlights the challenge of EV’s.  According to NPR, “Granholm’s trip through the southeast, from Charlotte, N.C., to Memphis, Tenn., was intended to draw attention to the billions of dollars the White House is pouring into green energy and clean cars.”

Her caravan of EVs — including a luxury Cadillac Lyriq, a hefty Ford F-150 and an affordable Bolt electric utility vehicle — was planning to fast-charge in Grovetown, a suburb of Augusta, Georgia.

Her advance team realized there weren’t going to be enough plugs to go around. One of the station’s four chargers was broken, and others were occupied. So an Energy Department staffer tried parking a nonelectric vehicle by one of those working chargers to reserve a spot for the approaching secretary of energy.

That did not go down well: a regular gas-powered car blocking the only free spot for a charger?

In fact, a family that was boxed out — on a sweltering day, with a baby in the vehicle — was so upset they decided to get the authorities involved: They called the police.

Later on in the story it is noted that “According to the auto-data giant J.D. Power, worries about public chargers are the No. 1 reason why would-be EV buyers are reluctant to make the switch, even outranking concerns about high prices. And driver satisfaction with public chargers is getting worse, not better.”

Numerous problems with EV’s can be found in the story.

Because New Mexico is not alone among  “blue” states in embracing EV mandates. Thus, Rio Grande Foundation has joined a national  coalition called “Save our Cars” to fight back against those like Michelle Lujan Grisham who would take away our vehicle choice.

Find out more about the national Save our Cars Coalition which Rio Grande Foundation is a member of by clicking below.

Finally, federal legislation has been introduced in Congress to preserve Americans’ right to purchase the car of their choice. H.R. 1435, the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, led by Rep. John Joyce would end California’s and New Mexico’s (to name two states) efforts to ban gas-powered cars and preserve Americans’ ability to choose the vehicles that best suit their lives.

 

Even on the left and among gun control advocates MLG’s gun grab is wrong

09.11.2023

As we noted recently, Gov. Lujan Grisham took the outrageous step of banning the carrying of guns in Bernalillo County for 30 days.  Here are just a few of the many gun control proponents who have stated publicly that MLG’s order goes too far (the post includes a response from MLG):

And, while Elon Musk is certainly not a “progressive.” He is rather heterodox in his views. Here’s what Musk had to say: