Multicultural Alliance for Safe Environment MASE

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MASE Newsletter

Issue #1 - Thursday, February 3, 2011 -

This newsletter contains articles, insights, information, and news. Forward this newsletter to a friend! 

Dear MASE Friends:
I hope you all are having a great new year. The legislative season has begun and we are busy preparing to defeat pro-uranium bills this session. There will be plenty of ways for you to be involved, including sending emails and making phone calls to your legislators. We will be sending out weekly updates on relevant legislation with information on how you can help.

During the session we will also be offering youth lobbying trainings, so if you are interested (or know any young people that may be interested) in learning the ins-and-outs of lobbying, please have them contact me for information. Our first youth lobby day is this Friday, February 4, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. which is Native American day at the Roundhouse. Also, please check out our website at for more information on MASE's current projects.


Nadine Padilla
MASE Coordinator

January MASE Meeting

Thirty-one coalition and community members attended the MASE Coalition meeting, Saturday, Jan. 29 where strategies for the legislative session were discussed. This year's legislative bill watch includes the following bills:

HB 40: Abandoned Mine Reclamation Act Jurisdiction. Sponsored by Senators David Ulibarri (D), District 30 and Jim Trujillo (D), District 45. This bill amends the Mine Reclamation Act, prohibiting state abandoned mine reclamation efforts to be more stringent than mandated federal law. MASE position on bill: AGAINST

HB 48: Cultural Properties Review Committee Duties. Sponsored by Representative Paul Bandy (R), District 3. This bill allows the state historic preservation officer to have all of the substantive powers to designate cultural properties rather than the existing committee. MASE position on bill: AGAINST

HB 111: Uranium Legacy Cleanup Act. Sponsored by Representative Patricia Lundstorm (D), District 9. This bill would create the Uranium Legacy Fund, which would tax all new mining projects for the purpose of creating a fund to offset any damages or personal harm caused by the mining. However, mining operations could also receive loans from the fund. MASE position on bill: Significant amendments need to be made this bill in order for it to be helpful to uranium-impacted communities. MASE will propose amendments.

HB 225: Water Quality Control Act Revisions. Sponsored by Representative Andy Nunez (D), District 36. This bill would revoke power from the Water Quality Control Commission and give it to the Secretary of the Environment Department. MASE position on bill: AGAINST

SB 249: Water Quality Act Rule Making Authority. Sponsored by Senator Phil Griego (D), District 39. This bill would also take power from the Water Quality Control Commission and give it to the Secretary of the Environment Department. MASE position on bill: AGAINST

January in Review

Logo Contest Extended
In December MASE announced a logo contest to find the perfect logo that communicates MASE's vision and mission: The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment envisions respectful, peaceful communities cherishing a healthy environment. MASE is rooted in the experiences of uranium-impacted communities of the southwestern U.S. We are communities working to restore and protect the natural and cultural environment through respectfully promoting intercultural engagement among communities and institutions for the benefit of all life and future generations.

The logo will be used online, in print, and for all marketing applications. Flexibility is a key requirement, including the need to resize easily and to look good in black and white as well as color. The final version of the logo will need to be suitable both online and high-quality printing applications. After a wonderful group of submissions, MASE gained a better understanding of what we're truly looking for in a design. We revised our guidelines and have extended the deadline and will keep the contest open until we have found the best logo for MASE. There's still time to submit yours. The winning entry will receive $500. See the official guidelines on our website.

I-25 Banners
On January 18, the first day of New Mexico's 50th legislative session, banners were displayed over I-25 demanding clean energy for New Mexico. The banners were dropped just south of Santa Fe to remind lawmakers on their way to the Roundhouse the importance of clean and healthy environment for all New Mexicans.


In the News

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, in front of a packed court at the New Mexico Supreme Court Bruce Frederick and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center won a major victory against the Gov. Martinez and the State Records Office.  The New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed the first lawsuit against Martinez's administration after it refused to publish rules that had been adopted by the Environmental Improvement Board in December 2010. Chief Justice Charles Daniels noted that there's a "nondiscretionary administrative duty to follow the law." Without publication in the state register, rules don't take effect. We send a big thanks to the New Mexico Environmental Law Center for moving quickly and boldly to challenge Gov. Susana Martínez's 90-day hold on publication of all proposed or pending rules. Many of the rulings targeted were recent regulations from the Environmental Improvement Board capping greenhouse-gas emissions from coal-fired generators and another rule on discharges from dairies into our groundwater. For more information on this victory please visit:

Following are links from newspaper reports around the world on the issues of uranium mining and clean energy we thought might be of interest. These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of MASE or any of our affiliates. A "New Era" for Indian Country? From High Country News

One of the greatest barriers to deploying clean energy on tribal lands is a longstanding backlog of bureaucratic red tape and outdated laws that cause projects to stall and makes financing cost ineffective. Many tribes are eager to partner with private sector developers in order to build large-scale clean energy projects that are both profitable and respectful of tribal values such as environmental stewardship and keeping families together by providing good jobs on reservations. Clean Energy Standard Should Not Include Nuclear, Coal: Say Experts from Coal Geology

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, said: "The principle of clean energy sources should be that the main environmental burdens should be borne by the generation that uses the energy. Some of the largest environmental and health impacts of nuclear energy and coal will be borne by generations far into the future. These impacts cannot be internalized by spending more money, as they are inherent in the technology. In contrast, the modest impacts of renewable energy are borne by the generations that use the energy, so that future generations can replace the facilities with better techniques as they are developed." How Clean is Obama's Energy Standard? From The Washington Post

Under the plan, nuclear and renewable sources would count toward federal clean energy requirements while what Obama calls "efficient natural gas" and "clean coal" would get partial credit toward the requirements.

This Month's Featured Article

This month's featured article is by Mario Atencio. Mario is a volunteer with MASE and this month he writes about the state of nuclear energy in the Southwest. Mario also offers a possible plan of action to counter the pro-nuclear energy and uranium mining messages. Mario is Dine' of the Mud clan; born for the Bitter Water clan in the Na'neelzhiin community.
There is little good news when writing about renewed uranium mining in and around the Grants mineral belt. First, the Supreme Court refused to grant a writ of certiorari ie. Marilyn Morris, et al v. Nuclear Regulatory Commission case, allowing the license that was granted to Uranium Resource Inc. (URI) subsidy Hydro Resources, Inc., (HRI) to become valid. A writ of certiorari means an order by a higher court directing a lower court, tribunal, or public authority to send the record in a given case for review. That refusal gave a license and a green light to have HRI mine uranium on lands adjacent to the Navajo Nation, who have previously banned the mining and milling of uranium on its lands.

Even more heartbreaking is that the Obama Administration has approved $8 billion for a new nuclear energy power plant in Georgia. Obama is quoted as saying "this is only the beginning." URI is poised to be a leader in a coming nuclear renaissance and according to their website ( they are the 8th largest private holder of uranium in the world.

We are experiencing a "Global Nuclear Renaissance" and its impacts in New Mexico.  New Mexico and the Four Corners region is a national sacrifice area. Unless there is a coordinated campaign to curb uranium development, I feel we are going to live an environmental horror. All those living in and around the area will suffer from the impacts of Uranium exposure.  I urge MASE Coalition members to challenge the uranium industry and their lobbyists as they "work" the New Mexico Legislature to present uranium as a viable and profitable industry.

We have to see that we can only win.  We are the soothsayers that tell of a future of death and pain if people mine the uranium.  People talk about jobs, money, and other ephemeral ideas when they organize around uranium, but the real issue is the human impact. People are going to die if the uranium is mined, and there is no other way to say it.  People represented by MASE understand and that is how the organization around this idea must be posed. If you take a moment to view uranium as a metaphor you may find that words like death and profane come to mind. And it's that message of death and the profane that me must carry out. The main goal is to have everyone who is willing and able to write letters to newspaper, radio producers, and TV producers imploring them to listen.

Through this opposition we will strengthen our bonds with one another.  Families will strengthen; communities will remember the needs and human rights of their people.  Together we will coalesce and make sacred bonds of friendship. The people will share bread and drink from the same pitcher of water, all the while watching each other's children play with one another. - Mario Atencio

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter

Get instant updates on Twitter and Facebook. See photos, make comments, get in-the-moment news updates and join in the cause. It's free and it's the best way to stay up-to-date with issues surrounding uranium mining in New Mexico.

Mark Your Calendar

SOS Rally
TODAY!!! Thursday, Feb. 3rd, 12-1 p.m.
Send a message to your representatives about the importance of preserving our water, air and communities in New Mexico! Please bring a plastic or glass bottle to put a message concerning the importance of water in our state. The messages will be delivered to the legislators at the end of the rally!

Where: In front of the Capitol Building, Corner of Old Santa Fe Trail and Paseo de Peralta
Cosponsored by: MASE, Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM), New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light (NMIPL), New Energy Economy

Youth Lobby Day and Native American Day
Friday, February 4, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m
This is our first youth lobby day and also Native American Day at the Roundhouse.

Friday, February 11, 2011, 12 p.m.
1000 Mujeres en Marcha
Talía dimil asdzani dees kai (Dine)
Women throughout New Mexico will gather in Santa Fe to make our voices heard by the administration of Governor Susana Martinez. The march starts at the Railyard Park @ Cerrillos Rd. and Guadalupe St. and will March to the State Capitol for a rally at the Roundhouse, to be followed by a press conference at 2:30 in the Rotunda.

Support the Cause
If you'd like to make a donation to help support MASE, please mail your contributions to the address below. All contributions are tax-deductible and go towards advancing the cause for clean energy in New Mexico.

Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE)
P.O. Box 4254
Albuquerque, NM 87196

Want to contribute your time? We're always excited to work with volunteers from the community. If you'd like to volunteer you time or service please call 505-240-3104 and leave a message for Nadine.

Thanks so much! The MASE Team

MASE Affiliated Groups and Allies
Amigos Bravos, Taos and Albuquerque; McKinley Community Health Alliance, Gallup; Moquino Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association, Cebolleta; New Mexico Environmental Justice Working Group, Albuquerque; New Mexico Environmental Law Center Santa Fe; Office of Peace, Justice and Creation Stewardship, Gallup; Partnership for Earth Spirituality, Albuquerque; Ramah Navajo Community, Ramah; Red Water Pond Road Community Association, Coyote Canyon Chapter; Sierra Club Environmental Justice Office, Flagstaff; Southwest Research and Information Center, Albuquerque; Stewards of Creation, Albuquerque and Gallup; New Mexico Environmental Law Center; NukeWatch; Think Outside the Bomb; Western Mining Action Network
and Wise Uranium Project.

Jennifer Marshall