Action started off early at the Roundhouse before today’s special legislative session with a Tea Party press conference starring discredited columnist Marita K. Noon and a lump of coal.
Noon is the executive director of the Citizen’s Alliance for Responsible Energy, a trade industry group includes oil and gas producers.
Paul Gessing, from the anti-tax group the Rio Grande Foundation, also spoke at the rally – which many Capitol observers noted was much smaller than they expected.
Noon spoke in the Rotunda before a group of about 40 supporters who clapped and nodded as she advocated for increased oil, coal and gas exploration and more uranium mining in the state. Noon claims those industries account for about 50 percent of the state’s revenues.
To illustrate her point about the state’s abundant resources, Noon presented a huge lump of coal, which she said she had chipped out herself yesterday at a local coal mine.
Noon mocked the state’s recent designation of Mt. Taylor in Grants as a protected Traditional Cultural Property, which will make it very difficult for anyone to mine for uranium there. Several Native American tribes consider Mt. Taylor a sacred site.
In the past, Noon has written many columns defending “extractive” industries such as oil, coal, gas and uranium. Some of her columns have appeared in New Mexico papers, including a piece highly critical of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation that was later pulled from two websites for inaccuracies.
Stay tuned to ClearlyNewMexico.com for more legislative updates throughout the day.