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Heinrich Engages With New Mexicans Across The State During February Work Period

WASHINGTON – This week, while the U.S. Senate is in a legislative recess, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) hit the road to engage in on-the-ground discussions to advance priorities for New Mexicans.

Strengthening The STEM Pipeline In New Mexico

On Monday, February 21, Senator Heinrich visited the New Mexico Tech Playas Research and Training Center to learn about how the facility is preparing New Mexico students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Projects at the Center cover an array of fields including virtual, solar, infrastructure resiliency, and defense technologies.

PHOTOS: Heinrich Visits New Mexico Tech Playas Research And Training Center, Promote STEM Education

As one of the few people in Congress with a background in science and engineering, Senator Heinrich has long fought for federal investments in STEM education to put New Mexico students on the path to become the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Through his previous role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and now the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Heinrich is working to strengthen the STEM pipeline for careers in New Mexico to boost the state’s growing technology economy.

NEWS: Sen. Martin Heinrich visits New Mexico ghost town used for military, law enforcement training - Las Cruces Sun News 

Creating Equitable Opportunities For New Mexico Children To Access The Outdoors

On Tuesday, February 22, Senator Heinrich, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, visited Doña Ana Village to learn about how a new walking and hiking trail will create more opportunities for New Mexico children to access the outdoors.

PHOTOS: Heinrich Visits New Outdoor Equity Initiative At Doña Ana Village

This new initiative is made possible by a $20,000 grant the Doña Ana Village Association was awarded through the N.M. Outdoor Equity Fund to teach youth about the importance of the national historic trail through community outdoor activities.

Senator Heinrich is dedicated to increasing access to more outdoor opportunities for all New Mexicans no matter their background or zip code. Last year, Senator Heinrich championed into law the Great American Outdoors Act that fully and permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Senator Heinrich supports the LWCF as a way to help preserve many treasured places in New Mexico, increase access to outdoor opportunities, and support the state’s outdoor recreation economy.

Senator Heinrich welcomed the launch of Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E., a national outdoor equity initiative created by Black, Indigenous, and leaders of color from states and organizations across the country. The initiative will act as a blueprint for outdoor equity legislation Senator Heinrich plans to introduce soon.

NEWS: Community routes: Doña Ana Village Association, Heinrich discuss accessibility, Camino Real preservation – Las Cruces Sun News 

Fighting To Reinstate Funding For New Mexico Military Construction Projects

Later that Tuesday, Senator Heinrich met with military officials at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) and Holloman Air Force Base (AFB) to discuss federal funding for both installations.

PHOTOS: Heinrich Visits White Sands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base

Senator Heinrich has played a key role in reprogramming funding for WSMR and Holloman AFB missions and military construction projects after the Trump administration attempted to divert funding away from several military installations in New Mexico for the ill-advised border wall.

Senator Heinrich, who now serves as the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding for Military Construction projects, is set to return the full funding to construct a new operations facility to support the MQ-9 Formal Training Unit assigned to Holloman Air Force Base. This appropriation will ensure that current and future MQ-9 operators train and work in a new and safe facility for years to come.

In 2021, Senator Heinrich also approved a request from the Department of Defense to reprogram additional funding to replace an outdated testing and evaluation facility at WSMR.

Senator Heinrich has long-championed provisions that benefit New Mexico’s men and women in uniform, national laboratories, and defense programs as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 2013-2020. Senator Heinrich secured a variety of provisions that support New Mexico’s men and women in uniform in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.

NEWS: Sen. Martin Heinrich said funding restored to Holloman Air Force Base will help with FTU construction – Alamogordo Daily News 

Years Of Support To Create The Largest Single-Phase Renewable Energy Build-Out In America

On Wednesday, February 23, Senator Heinrich attended the grand opening of Pattern Energy’s Western Spirit Wind power facilities. Senator Heinrich has been a key figure in advancing this project and the clean energy transition at the national level.

PHOTOS: Heinrich Celebrates Grand Opening Of Western Spirit Wind Project

“The Western Spirit Transmission Line literally rewrote the energy landscape in New Mexico—allowing us to build four new utility-scale wind projects in central and eastern New Mexico that make up the largest single-phase wind project in all of North America. I was proud to support this project every step of the way. As we build more transformative infrastructure projects like this, New Mexico will grow our ability to export cleanly generated electrons to hungry energy markets in neighboring states and import thousands of good-paying jobs and billions of dollars of private investment back into our communities,” said Heinrich.

Western Spirit Wind is comprised of four wind power projects located in Guadalupe, Lincoln, and Torrance Counties in central New Mexico, totaling more than 1,050 megawatts (MW) of clean power capacity, enough to meet the electricity needs of hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.

Senator Heinrich championed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that invests roughly $60 billion – the single largest investment in American history – in clean energy transmission. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. The infrastructure law creates a new Grid Deployment Authority, invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience.

For more information on Western Spirit Wind click here. 

A Two-Generation Approach That Helps Families Achieve Success Together

On Thursday, February 24, Senator Heinrich met with representatives from the Youth Development Inc. (YDI) Head Start and the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) to discuss early childhood education programming and how a two-generation approach can help parents and children achieve success together.

PHOTOS: Heinrich Discusses Early Childhood Education, Two-Generation Approach With Local Educators

Last week, Senator Heinrich announced that he will reintroduce the bipartisan Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act to increase educational success and economic opportunities for families living in poverty. 

Leading The National Charge To Eliminate Methane Emissions, Engaging With UNM Researchers To Make It Happen

Later that Thursday, Senator Heinrich visited the University of New Mexico to learn about how a research and development project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is creating new sensor technologies that can detect methane leaks from oil and gas equipment in order to prevent climate warming pollution.

“I have been proud to lead the national effort to reinstate strong federal rules at EPA to eliminate methane pollution from oil and gas operations. Methane has over 80 times the global warming potency as CO2 emissions in the short-term and poses a real danger to clean air and public health. Developing and deploying this type of detection technology will be key to monitoring pollution in real time so we can prevent methane from leaking, venting, or flaring into our atmosphere,” said Heinrich.

Last year, Senator Heinrich championed the effort to pass into law S.J. Res 14, a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which nullified the Trump administration’s 2020 Methane Rescission Rule and reinstated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for methane emissions from new and existing sources of methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, including transmission and storage facilities.

Senator Heinrich met with UNM Engineering Professors, Dr. Fernando Garzon and Dr. Lok-Kun Tsui, to learn more about their 3-D printed sensor capable of detecting methane and transmitting sensing signals to an offsite monitor. Methane monitoring technology like this will be key to identifying the greatest sources of leaks and prioritizing which wells are most important to address.

UNM Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs James Holloway and Vice President for Research Ellen Fisher were also in attendance for the presentation.

“This technology has been years in the making and never has it been more critically needed,” said Holloway. “The research has successfully garnered initial and additional funding from DOE, which recognizes the need for this type of technology and the viability of solutions our researchers are bringing to the table. We’re proud of the success Professors Garzon and Tsui have seen so far and applaud their continued efforts on this important work.”

NEWS: Heinrich discusses UNM professors’ methane emission sensors on campus – The Daily Lobo