Sen. Heinrich doubles down on clean energy

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jun. 11—Don't give away the farm to appease Republicans.

That was essentially the message Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., repeatedly delivered this week as the White House tried to negotiate with Republicans on a compromise to the Biden administration's massive $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which includes many provisions that would aim to address climate change.

Heinrich, during a virtual conference call hosted by Climate Power on Wednesday and a press call Thursday, went so far as to suggest that he and other Democrats may not support the president's plan if it gets too watered down during ongoing negotiations.

"We just cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by," he said. "We should not allow ourselves to get so bogged down in bad-faith negotiations, or to accept deals that would frankly short change or entirely leave out meaningful climate action."

Politico reported this week that the Biden administration may leave out some climate provisions in the infrastructure plan in order to get a bill passed. Heinrich tweeted the political magazine's report and said an infrastructure bill that "goes light on climate and clean energy should not count on every Democratic vote."

"If you're going to pass an infrastructure plan, there aren't many Republicans on the table. So you are going to need every single Democratic vote to pass an infrastructure plan," Heinrich said. "I think there is little appetite in our caucus for an infrastructure plan that ignores the greatest crisis, the most existential crisis, that we face."

Heinrich said there are several infrastructure improvements that the country needs to make, such as more charging stations for electric vehicles, the creation of a civilian climate corps, and high-voltage transmission lines.

STANSBURY SWEARING IN: Melanie Stansbury is set to be sworn in Monday as the newest member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Stansbury, an Albuquerque Democrat, was elected to Congress on June 1, cruising to a 24 percentage point victory over state Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque.

She will replace former Rep. Deb Haaland, who resigned after she was confirmed as secretary of the interior.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to swear in Stansbury at 4:40 p.m. MT.

Stansbury will have to resign from her seat in the state House, where she represents the Northeast Heights from around Lomas and Juan Tabo NE to the foothills neighborhoods south of Bear Canyon.

The Bernalillo County Commission will select Stansbury's replacement. The commission is comprised of four Democrats and one Republican.

DRONING ON : Albuquerque's "dongcopter" has more than just a, ahem, phony male appendage attached to it.

It also has legs. Because more than a week after buzzing near Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales during a campaign event for the mayoral hopeful, the drone armed with the sex toy is still getting plenty of media coverage all over the country.

This week on the "Todd N Tyler Radio Empire," a syndicated morning show based out of Omaha, Nebraska, the hosts mentioned the display on Wednesday and Thursday.

"We gotta get one of those," host Mike Tyler said Thursday morning. "If we do ... a big event we're supposedly doing in the fall, we should have a dongcopter for that. We should have five actually, and have dongcopter fights."

The drone was also discussed briefly on "Last Podcast on the Left" this week, and the New York Post was among the media outlets that has covered the viral video, which shows the disrobed drone dropping in near Gonzales as he fielded questions from a crowd.

The "@Dongcopter505" Twitter account has taken credit for the mischievous stunt, which crashed the Gonzales event at Revel Entertainment Center in Northeast Albuquerque on June 2. It also appears to have flown outside Legacy Church as Moores visited the church last month, according to a video posted to the Twitter account.

Days later, Moores lost the special election for New Mexico's 1st Congressional District seat to Stansbury.

Ryan Boetel: rboetel@abqjournal.com