These Bills Need To Die A Swift Death

The following comes from Jim Crawford.  If you are in business or would like to see New Mexico forge to the 21st Century you should contact the legislators in the House and urge them to kill this bill.  The first is for HB 429 and the next is HJR 6.

Here are some comments I sent to the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee for their hearing on HB 429 scheduled for Monday 2-18. This is an open door for environmentalist to tie up about anything that happens in this state.

Later Jim

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Oppose HB 429 Environmental Private Right of Action

Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 11:10:43 -0700

From: James Crawford <>

To: Brian Egolf <>, Jeff Steinborn <>, Donald Bratton <>, Candy Ezzell <>, Stephen Easley <>, Roberto Gonzales <>, William Gray <>, Tim Lewis <>, Bill McCamley <>, James Strickler <>, James Madalena <>

CC: Kelly Fajardo <>, Alonzo Baldonado <>, Don Tripp <>

I oppose HB 429 Environmental Private Right of Action. This bill creates a private right of action for any person to file civil suits under the Oil and Gas Act, the Environmental Improvement Act and the Air Quality Act against any person, corporation, agency, or political subdivision for any real or imagined injury or failure to act. Civil penalties and attorney fees will be awarded.

This is a blatant attempt by rabid environmental groups to fill their treasuries and tie up and impede any activity on their hit lists through litigation and collections for attorney and expert witness fees.

This legislation models existing federal law allowing citizen law suits under several environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act and others. This is big business for environmental groups. In just six years eight environmental groups filed over 1596 law suits and were awarded over $4,700,000,000 in tax payer money. The environmental groups don’t even have to prevail to get the fat pay checks. Many of the awards are made in losing cases and many more given based on agreed upon settlements. Nevertheless, federal tax payer money is a huge source of funding for radical environmental groups.

Environmental groups are using the federal dole to become some of the most financially wealthy organizations in the country. For example, in 2007, the Sierra Club had a total worth of over $56.6 million. The top ten environmental presidents have annual compensation exceeding a half million dollars.

The federal dole is not good enough. Now they want New Mexico taxpayers to fork over more of our hard earned dough.

Much of the above federal litigation is coming right out of New Mexico by groups either started here or centered here. Between 2000 and 2009 WildEarth Guardians of Santa Fe has filed over 180 suits, Center for Biological Diversity founded in Silver City has filed over 409 suits, the National Wildlife Federation has filed 427 suits, the Sierra Club filed 983 suits, and the Wilderness Society has filed over 149 suits. I am sure all of these groups plus the plethora of other groups of similar ilk in NM are rubbing their hands with glee over prospects of an additional source of public welfare contained in HB 429.

Sadly, many of the awards are not for substantive issues but are for suits filed on procedural issues regarding due dates or other administrative procedural complaints having nothing at all to do with any actual or perceived environmental impact.

On top of the rip off of taxpayer money, these environmental law suits will delay activities for months and years and may even result in worthwhile activities being dropped. That of course is one of the main goals of the environmental groups. NM’s oil and gas industry will undoubtedly be one of the main targets of this legislation but it will also affect almost every activity in our daily lives. The millions of dollars in costs and the delays will end up being a significant impact to us NM taxpayers through direct expenditures and loss of tax revenue.

Just considering the two main state agencies likely to be most affected (Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources and New Mexico Environment Department) , it will cost us $300,000 per year just to add attorneys to their staffs. That does not include the penalties and attorney fees that will have to be paid on top of the $300,000. The tab will likely run into the millions each year just for state government. The costs to individuals, corporations, and other political subdivisions will be in addition to the state projection and add up to more millions of dollars.

Every aspect of our lives will be open season for these law suits. The Oil and Gas Act and the Clean Air Act are fairly evident in their scope but we need to recognize that the Environmental Improvement Act covers practically every thing in our daily lives i.e.; food protection; water supply; liquid waste management; air quality; radiation control; vector control; occupational health and safety; public swimming pools and baths; plumbing, drainage, ventilation, and sanitation of public buildings; medical radiation; hazardous waste; petroleum storage tanks; and solid waste. There is no end to potential frivilous law suits that may be brought under the Environmental Improvement Act let alone the Oil and Gas Act and the Clean Air Act.

HB 429 will cause gridlock and enormous citizen, corporate, and taxpayer expense. Activities will be delayed or cancelled because of imaginary environmental impacts such as invisible haze, faked anthropogenic global warming, extinction of polar bears, and any other similar environmental cause in vogue at the time.

I implore you to stop HB 429.

Thank you

James Crawford


Here’s the next:

Here are some more comments I sent to the House Voters and Elections Committee for their hearing on HJR 6 on Tuesday 2-19. The study is brand new since the President proposed his $9 minimum wage.

Later Jim

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Oppose HJR 6 Minimum Wage

Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 12:30:55 -0700

From: Jim Crawford <>

To: Mary Helen Garcia <>, Nate Cote <>, Thomas Anderson <>, Paul Bandy <>, Ken Martinez <>, Bill Rehm <>, Debbie Rodella <>, Edward Sandoval <>, James Smith <>, Monica Youngblood <>, Antonio Maestas <>

CC: Kelly Fajardo <>, Alonzo Baldonado <>, Don Tripp <>

I am opposed to HJR 6 Increase Minimum Wage Annually CA. This is a proposed constitutional amendment to annually increase the NM minimum wage based on the rate of inflation.

I sent you my objections to this bill last week and I hope you will consider them in your deliberations. One of my main points was that increasing minimum wage has an inordinate effect on teenagers and young adults trying to get established in the workplace. After the President proposed raising the national minimum wage to $9 per hour a new study was just published on February 16, 2013 that compared the effects on teenage and young adult employment from minimum wage increases between 1994 and 2011 with a projection to 2013 based on the President’s $9 per hour proposal. The study is based on US Census data and is inflation adjusted.

The study results show that employers only have a fixed amount of revenue that they devote to hiring minimum wage teens and young adults. That pool of revenue does give those working a 21.7% higher wage rate but ends up depressing the number of hours worked by 17.8% . So teens and young adults will be getting barely enough additional pay to cover the reduction in hours that will accompany the wage increase.

Ever increasing minimum wage also prevents teens and young adults from joining the work force. As the study shows, there was an increase of 84.5 % in teens and young adults that had no hours and no income between 1994 and 2011. Our entire increase in teen population is going to be blocked out of the job market by increasing minimum wages.

Minimum wage will not contribute any real economic growth which is what is needed increase jobs, hours, and wage levels.

HJR 6 is not a pathway to real economic growth in the state.

It is even worse to be considering a Constitutional Amendment dealing with wage rates. Amendments to the Constitution should be few and difficult and not deal with day to day questions like minimum wage rates.

HJR 6 needs to go away.

Thank you

James Crawford


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