"It is abundantly clear that the composition of many critical Senate committees has dramatically shifted power to special interests — to those industries that advocate de-regulation and increased exploitation of natural resources.
"In the end, the House of Representatives was forced to defeat attacks on our environment launched by the Senate. Fortunately, for the most part, the House held the line and chose clean air and water over exploitation of our Land of Enchantment."
In particular CVNM singled out the Senate Conservation Committee, saying this last session that panel was filled with senators "openly hostile to environmental protection."
I spoke with Senate President Pro-tem Tim Jennings this afternoon. He denied trying to stack the deck at the Conservation or any other committee and called the charge. "silly."
Here's the members of the Conservation Committee and their CVNM scores from the regular session this year. (The scores are based on 13 votes on specific pieces of legislation dealing with environmental protection, wildlife, growth and health issues. The group considers 100 percent to be the best vote on conservation issues.)
* Sen. Steve Fischmann, D-Las Cruces, 100 percent
* Sen. Richard Martinez, D-Española, 46 percent
* Sen. John Ryan, R-Albuquerque, 41 percent
* Sen. David Ulibarri, D-Grants, 38 percent
* Sen. Bernadette M. Sanchez, D-Albuquerque (chairwoman), 36 percent
* Sen. Clinton Harden, R-Clovis, 27 percent
* Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, 20 percent
* Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, 15 percent