WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman on Thursday will hold an Energy and Natural Resources Water and Power Subcommittee hearing on legislation he wrote to help meet eastern New Mexico’s future water needs.
Bingaman’s bill, the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Authorization Act, authorizes the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to spend up to $327 million to assist the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority in the construction a pipeline that will carry water to several communities in Curry and Roosevelt counties. Orlando Ortega Jr., mayor of the City of Portales, will testify before the subcommittee as the vice chairman of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority.
The subcommittee will also hear testimony on Bingaman’s Rio Grande Pueblos Irrigation Infrastructure Improvement Act, which aims to improve water infrastructure on pueblo lands. The bill would give the Bureau of Reclamation the authority to work with any of New Mexico’s tribes to assess pueblo irrigation infrastructure and initiate projects to rehabilitate and repair the infrastructure as needed. J. Michael Chavarria, Governor of the Pueblo of Santa Clara, will testify before the subcommittee as the chairman of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council.
On Friday, Bingaman will deliver a 2008 Compton lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) titled “Forging a Clean Energy Future”. The Karl Taylor Compton Lecture Series was established in 1957 to honor the late Karl Taylor Compton, who served as president of MIT from 1930 to 1948 and chairman of the Corporation from 1948 to 1954. The purpose is to give the MIT community direct contact with the important ideas of our times.