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In Brief - News - Dec. 10, 2012

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From The Associated Press

Vigil sworn in for high court
SANTA FE — Barbara Vigil has been sworn in as the newest member of the New Mexico Supreme Court.
The ceremony was held Friday afternoon at the courthouse in Santa Fe.
Elected in November, Vigil fills the spot left vacant by the retirement of Justice Patricio Serna.
Vigil says she hopes to continue Serna’s legacy by serving New Mexicans with integrity and fairness.
Vigil comes to the high court after serving more than 12 years as a state district judge in the 1st Judicial District. She has presided over 16,000 cases ranging from civil litigation to child abuse cases and administrative appeals.
A graduate of the University of New Mexico law school, Vigil owned and operated her own law office for years before becoming a judge.

BLM changes roundup plans
ALBUQUERQUE — Plans for rounding up wild horses in northern New Mexico have changed.
The Bureau of Land Management says it’s reprioritizing the horse gathers based on drought conditions and the condition of the animals.
In New Mexico, trapping on Jarita Mesa has been cancelled because conditions there aren’t as bad as they are in other areas.
Fewer horses will be gathered from the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory in New Mexico because of limited holding space.
The BLM is nearing capacity at its holding corrals and pastures. That means officials have less ability to remove animals from overpopulated herds and drought-stricken rangeland.
There are an estimated 405 mustangs roaming the Jicarilla territory in the Carson National Forest and BLM-controlled land in the Carracas Mesa area. Managers have said the herd should be much smaller because there’s not enough forage to keep the horses healthy.

West looks to energy boom
ALBUQUERQUE — Petroleum producers in southeastern New Mexico are on track to pump out 80 million barrels of oil this year — numbers that haven’t been seen since the 1970s.
In Texas and North Dakota, the oilfields are booming. Companies are exploring possible shale plays in more pockets around the West, and there are no signs that Wyoming stands to lose its position as the nation’s top coal producer.
Federal projections released this week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggest the next three decades will see similar flurries of domestic energy development as technology improves and pressures mount to reduce America’s reliance on Mideast oil, and the West will be a player.
The “energy breadbasket” of the nation is how Utah Gov. Gary Herbert describes it.
With its large swaths of public land and enormous caches of oil, natural gas and solar, wind and geothermal resources, Herbert, chairman of the Western Governors Association, said there’s no reason the region shouldn’t be a model for how to balance domestic energy production.
“The time for half-measures is past,” he said in a statement. “We need an energy policy big enough to satisfy the world’s growing appetite for energy.”
He’s behind an effort to develop a 10-year energy plan for the 19 states that belong to the association. Governors from many of the states kicked off discussions during a meeting last weekend in Arizona.