Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. MST
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Exxon Mobil says it has a plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in one of the most prolific oilfields in the U.S. The company made the announcement Monday, saying it will be focusing on emissions from its own operations as well as indirect emissions associated with the electricity it buys to power its well sites and other infrastructure. Exxon's plan centers on the Permian Basin, which spans parts of New Mexico and Texas. In New Mexico, regulators earlier this year adopted rules aimed at curbing methane emissions, with a target of capturing 98% of all natural gas waste by the end of 2026.
- NAVAJO NATION CONTROLLER
GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has accused its former top financial officer of misrepresenting information on a company hired to do rapid COVID-19 testing on the reservation. The criminal complaints filed Friday in tribal court allege Pearline Kirk violated tribal law in advising the tribal government to hire Agile Technologies Group LLC. The tribe's Department of Justice says the company received more than $3 million for pandemic-related services but wasn't qualified. Kirk's attorney, David Jordan, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Monday. He previously said Kirk did nothing wrong and was protecting essential workers in her office.
- VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has reported 61 more COVID-19 cases, but no additional deaths. The latest daily virus figures released Sunday brought the tribe's totals to 40,085 cases since the pandemic began. The known death toll remains at 1,551. Based on cases from Nov. 12-25, the Navajo Department of Health last Monday issued an advisory for 65 communities due to uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. Tribal President Jonathan Nez has again called for everyone on the vast reservation to get a booster shot and wear masks. The reservation covers 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and extends into parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
- BC-US-ASYLUM-WAITING IN MEXICO
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration is set to reinstate a Trump-era policy to make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court this week with changes and additions. A U.S. official says the first migrants are to be sent from El Paso, Texas, back to Ciudad Juarez. Timing was in flux as officials made final preparations, but it may begin Tuesday. The Biden administration is acting under a court order as it seeks to end the "Remain in Mexico" policy in a way that passes legal scrutiny. President Joe Biden scrapped the policy, but a lawsuit by Texas and Missouri has forced him to put it back into effect, subject to Mexico's acceptance.
- NEW MEXICO UTILITY MERGER
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Global energy giant Iberdrola, New Mexico's largest electric utility and other groups are asking state regulators to present oral arguments before voting on a proposed multibillion-dollar merger. The Public Regulation Commission has the final say on whether Iberdrola subsidiary Avangrid can acquire PNM Resources. A hearing examiner with the commission has recommended the deal be rejected, and three of the five elected commissioners said last week they oppose approval. The utilities have tried to counter critics with an advertising blitz touting benefits such as customer savings and economic development investments. The proposed merger could affect the pace of renewable energy development in New Mexico.
- HOLLOMAN-DRONE CRASH
HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force says an unmanned aircraft has crashed on a runway during takeoff from Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico. Officials with the 49th Wing say no injuries were reported in the Monday morning crash of an MQ-9 Reaper. Base access was not restricted. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Holloman Air Force Base is located west of Alamogordo next to the White Sands Missile Range. The MQ-9 Reaper drone is a remotely piloted aircraft used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as well as targeted missile strikes.
- REDISTRICTING-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Efforts to draw new political boundaries in New Mexico are starting in earnest as the Democrat-led Legislature convenes for an open-ended special session. The session began at midday on Monday. The stakes in the redistricting process are especially high for residents of a congressional swing district in southern New Mexico that flipped to Republican control in 2020. Native American communities are seeking greater political influence through a variety of strategies. Map recommendations were provided to legislators by a citizens' advisory panel. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham holds veto authority over the process.
- BUS CRASH-ALBUQUERQUE
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Police say a Greyhound bus crashed into a light pole as it was trying to exit Interstate 40 late Sunday night after a passenger grabbed the steering wheel during a dispute with another passenger. The driver was critically injured and at least four other people on the bus were brought to hospitals for injuries that weren't life-threatening. Police say the person who grabbed the steering wheel also was brought to a hospital to be evaluated for injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.