Pearce talks Cannon, immigration

By Sarah Meyer: Freedom New Mexico

Editor’s note: Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., stopped in Clovis on Tuesday on his campaign trail through eastern New Mexico.

In his sixth year as a representative, Pearce is running for the Senate seat held by Pete Domenici, R-N.M. Domenici will retire at the end of his term this year.

Pearce represents District 2, which includes most of southern New Mexico.

Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., Pearce said the nation is facing “three great struggles: the War on Terror, an economic struggle and who we are as a nation.” Economic issues include the cost and supply of petroleum products and the need to develop renewable energy, including nuclear power, he said. Defining who we are as a nation involves clarifying “good” and “evil” and addressing social issues in the midst of “angst.”

Immigration is another issue he believes needs to be addressed in a straightforward manner.

Here is what he had to say on the following topics:

Cannon Air Force Base: “I am a strong supporter of this base.” Air space in New Mexico is important for training and bombing ranges. “Special operations forces are the future of combat in this world. That makes this mission very important.”

Cannon also has “good symmetry” with Kirtland and Holloman military bases.

Ute Water Project and water conservation: “All communities are going to have to have water.” We need to get funding for the $300 million Ute Water Project. “Water is the basis of economic growth.” Communities need to measure the amount of water available, develop water plans that are reasonable, and find sources of water for the future, including the possibility of desalination and recycling, Pearce said.

“In the future, we will never throw away water again. … I predict water will be the cause of wars in the next 20 years, between countries and maybe even between states.”

Economic development: “Every area has different potentials.” In eastern New Mexico, one of the main “potentials” is agriculture and value-added products, such as dairies that produce milk, which is used in local cheese production plants. “We could do more. The next level is marketing,” he said.

Another economic potential is being “more aggressive” with in-state contractors for projects at CAFB.

Finally to improve the economy, “it’s absolutely essential that we improve education,” he said.

War in Iraq: “We must be successful in defeating world-wide terrorist groups. I supported the troop surge — it’s working pretty well.” He said violence is down and the Iraqis are taking greater responsibility for themselves. “There are signs of cautious optimism. We’re there for a long time. Fighting terrorists is very difficult.”