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This week on New Mexico in Focus

The Line opinion panel looks at New Mexico’s desperate dash to vaccinate its population. This week, state officials announced they’ve been able to administer better than 99 percent of the doses the state has received. Still, just 16 percent of New Mexicans over age 75 had been fully vaccinated as of mid-week. 

The Line also discusses the controversy surrounding Rep. Deb Haaland’s appointment as Interior secretary. The New Mexico Democrat’s first confirmation hearing is next week, as conservative senators have begun to say they’ll oppose or even try to block her nomination on the grounds that she’s opposed to fracking.  

Finally, the opinion panel talks about the revelation that PNM’s parent company funded hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of political action supporting lawmakers who favor the electricity provider’s preferred policies. The new State Ethics Commission forced the disclosure through legal action. 

New Mexico in Focus continues its coverage of the Biden administration’s executive order and actions on climate change. This week, correspondent Laura Paskus catches up with University of New Mexico economist Janie Chermak to talk about the oil and gas industry, climate change, and what it will take for renewable energy jobs to balance the inevitable losses from oil and gas as that industry declines in the coming years. 

And two lawmakers talk about a pair of tax reform bills that clean up New Mexico’s convoluted revenue code and prepare it for much-needed tax reform. Both measures passed the House unanimously, as the state looks to create a more predictable and more equitable tax code.

Host: Gene Grant 

Line Panelists: 
Dede Feldman, former state senator 
Dan Foley, former House minority whip 
H. Diane Snyder, former state senator 

Segments: 

The Economics of Energy & the Biden administration 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guest: Janie Chermak, graduate director and professor, UNM Economics Department 

A Step Toward Tax Reform 
CorrespondentMatt Grubs 
Guests: Rep. Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque, House Tax and Revenue Committee chairman 
Rep. Jason Harper, R-Albuquerque