On the Clean Future Act and sustainable agriculture

These letters were published in the February 6, 2022 print edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Reduce energy and food prices

I can’t farm sustainably if I can’t maintain my farm

We talk a lot about sustainability these days. As a farmer, I take care of my soil and water resources not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because I want to pass my farm on to my son. So I use duct tape to conserve water, compost plant material to improve soil health, and use cover crops to reduce soil erosion. I do my part.

But sustainability is a two-way street and I can’t pass my farm on to the next generation if I can’t stay in business. Like you, everything I buy is more expensive these days. According to the consumer price index, the price of meat and eggs has increased by 13%, which makes shopping more expensive for my family. Gasoline prices are up 50% from a year ago, and the cost of seed and fertilizer has skyrocketed. In fact, the CPI shows that inflation cost Americans $4,000 more last year.

And yet, while typical Americans are struggling to make ends meet, two bills have been introduced in the New Mexico Legislature that would skyrocket the price of gasoline and diesel. SB 14, the Clean Fuel Standard Act sets carbon emission reduction targets and, if passed, would require New Mexico to reduce the average amount of greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 and 30% by 2040 from 2018 levels.

Coupled with HB 6, the Clean Future Act that would mandate net zero emissions by 2050, the governor’s climate agenda will negatively impact farms, ranches and dairies in New Mexico that rely on affordable energy. The cost of living is already higher than at any time since 1982. Now is not the time to make energy and food more expensive.

Don Hartman is a chili, cotton and small grain producer in Luna County

Unsustainable medical insurance and billing

I am 53 years old, in very good health and have been really sick once in the past 15 years. I have always been insured until the last 4 years, because my age has cost me far too much to eat and be insured even though I work full time.

Pneumonia took me to the emergency room the day after Christmas. Eight hours, a Tylenol, two packets of glucose water, a five-minute visit from a doctor, three five-minute visits from a nurse, and a CT scan later, I was $18,000 in debt. This did not include the doctor’s bill.

I wouldn’t have been stunned at $1,800. Medicines, people and machines cost money, which I am well aware of and happy to pay my fair share. But $18,000? The care was good, I now knew what was wrong with me and I would not die of dehydration. But $18,000?

If I had been insured, the insurance company would have paid for this without batting an eyelid. But that’s the problem – because insurance companies pay those criminally inflated bills, pass those unbelievable prices on to the customer, and voila! It costs $700 for a healthy person over 50 to get health insurance, even on the state website.

The widespread abuse of this system, and government support, has created new poverty for those unlucky enough to exceed the income ceiling for assistance, but who cannot afford insurance to protect against this very situation. He is driving downhill. The hospital charges $18,000 for an ER visit, insurance companies pay it, and hard-working people see their finances decimated either because they find a way to pay for insurance or because they don’t. can’t. What’s wrong with this picture?

Marrianne White, Las Cruces

Wear a mask to protect others

Editor’s Note: This letter was submitted before the university closed concessions to ensure 100% concealment.

In response to Dan Gulino and his letter of 1/29. I’ve had an Aggie membership for 14 years. I don’t see why I have to stop enjoying the sporting event I look forward to every year and lose the money I paid for the tickets because the people around me refuse to follow the court orders. public health and that the university refuses to enforce them.

Since when do those who respect order have to be those who must “stay at home”? I watch college basketball all the time and see cheering crowds enjoying the games, all in masks. It’s just unfortunate that the university turns its head and that fans are so inconsiderate to think that the rights of those who ignore the mandates prevail over those who comply. I wear a mask to protect others around me as much as I do to protect myself. I was raised to be concerned about my neighbor, not to say harsh, those who refuse to follow the rules can do whatever they want and the rest stay at home.

Pattie Gipson, Las Cruces

Consider veterans when drafting laws

Across the country, veterans face daily physical, mental and financial health challenges. Here in New Mexico, those barriers are arguably exacerbated by generational poverty fueled by educational and economic gaps.

State and local governments admirably give preference to veteran and minority businesses when considering everything from licensure to government contracts. And we see all the military discounts advertised that range from restoration to home loans. Many military veterans have taken advantage of the services and considerations put forward by our public and private sectors, many have not.

There is no prototype veteran as our men and women complete their service in our country and return to civilian life. As in any other industry or demographic, there are haves and have-nots. Some veterans return to affluent neighborhoods with a myriad of traditional financial services available to them. Others return to abject poverty – some on the streets – who invariably offer little or no financial services other than non-traditional credit options.

As I have said publicly many times, the financial health of a society can be measured by the financial health of its poorest. Unless every law-abiding citizen of New Mexico has access to some form of credit, we are not operating at the peak of our health. Let’s not get stuck with well-meaning legislation that could negatively impact veterans’ ability to access credit.

Policy makers and legislators must study well-meaning legislation further before codifying policies that may in fact have crippling unintended consequences for our friends and neighbors who have honorably served our nation.

Back. NM Senator Richard C. Martinez, Española

Support for the immigrant community

Immigrants and essential workers are part of the backbone of our communities here in New Mexico. They are also among the lowest paid in the state. A recent survey by Somos Un Pueblo Unido found that in New Mexico, already one of the poorest states in the country, Latino families are facing extreme economic hardship. Most of these people had to report to work during the most dangerous times of the COVID pandemic, while many of us had the luxury of working from home. And yet, 28% of Latinos in the state say they earned less than $20,000 in 2021. That meant they couldn’t pay bills, had to spend savings, and had to borrow money from friends and family. members of their family.

While many New Mexicans were eligible to receive federal and state cash assistance intended to keep families together for the past two years, immigrants and essential workers have been left out of this program. The lack of fairness is glaring. The immigrant community has asked the Legislature to provide $15 million for immigrant and essential workers through federal relief funds and budget surpluses. I urge the House and Senate to pass a budget that demonstrates its sense of fairness and compassion for members of our community who have been left behind.

Cynthia Feiden-Warsh, Santa Fe

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