Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

State residents need access to lending | Letters To Editor

Over the weekend, I read a comment in The Santa Fe New Mexican that said the state lacked leadership in regulating the New Mexico credit industry (“Leadership Lack in Ending New Mexico Interest Rates from 175 Percent” ” , Ringside Seat, December 13). While parts of the play deserve serious consideration, the crux of the problem is access to credit for the most vulnerable in our communities. It’s a responsible piece in general; However, I think some postulated examples require a deeper look.

For example, while 18 states have interest rate caps, only three actually have the hard interest rate cap of 36 percent referred to in the article. The other remaining states are flexible. Ohio, for example, excludes payday lenders and Arizona title loans. Such exemptions are not an issue in New Mexico, as such predatory lenders are known to be effectively banned in the state. The article promotes the success of the military credit law’s interest rate cap. Earlier this year, a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that active service members were more than twice as likely to take out a cash advance or payday loan in 2020 than in 2019.

All New Mexicans need access to credit, and many lack creditworthiness or bank accounts for the kind of options that many may take for granted. Is the 36 percent interest rate cap the right tool to protect consumers or would it dry up credit for underserved communities? If they choose to address this issue, we will ensure that state legislation does this right for our state.

New Mexico African American Chamber

I applaud the wise words of Dr. Dominick DellaSala (“Forests Need Fire – Churches Don’t,” My View, December 12th) in our local paper this Sunday. We can now hear a narration from an expert on climate change and forest management questioning the practices of the managers of our Santa Fe National Forest. The carbon pollution from extensive logging and mandatory burning does not solve the problems of forest fires. He and his colleagues studied 1,500 fires over a period of 40 years, which showed that forests that were protected from deforestation burned with less intensity. Dr. DellaSala concludes that we must stop building roads and cutting down millions of trees that naturally store carbon to slow climate change. I appreciate and share his vision of preserving our natural forests and “giving the next generation of trees, shrubs and flowering plants more time to rejuvenate”.

The December 8th issue of the Pipeline and Gas Journal contained an article on the Permian Basin of New Mexico. According to the major drilling company Conoco, by the remarks of its Executive Vice President Tim Leach, “the cost of production of the Permian” [of oil] is currently the lowest in the world. ”It costs less than $ 30 to produce a barrel of oil. This leaves a lot of leeway for companies to deal with natural gas flaring and releases.

Gas is less lucrative than oil, so it is often released into the atmosphere or flared. However, with such a large profit margin, producers are now better able to flare the gas. In 2019, 293 million cubic feet were flared in the Permian. That’s enough to heat New Mexico homes for two years, just burned away. On top of that, that’s $ 1.2 billion in gas that would otherwise provide taxes and royalties. Lawmakers and the governor should stop polluting our air with their kowtow on oil and gas interests. Flickering and gas releases should stop. Period.

Don’t insult New Jersey

I was very offended by your article (“It’s Time to Fix Albuquerque Before It’s Too Late,” Our View, Dec. 14), in which you said New Mexico could become the New Jersey of the desert. What would make you denigrate New Jersey? I am a former New Jersian. While New Jersey has its problems, New Jersey is vastly superior to New Mexico in many ways – education for one thing. In fact, I wonder if New Jersey has less crime than New Mexico. How about an apology and a promise never to offend another state for a joke? Shame about The New Mexican.

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