Ecopolitology: New Mexico Approves Cap on Carbon Emissions

December 2010

Who says climate policy is dead in the U.S.? By a vote of four to one, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) voted Monday to adopt a new state pollution limit requiring the state’s largest emitters to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 3 percent per year from 2010 levels starting in 2013.

Monday’s ruling is the culmination of a two-year petition process that took a backseat when theEIB approved participation in a regional cap-and-trade program on election night, the same night Republican Susana Martinez was elected as New Mexico’s next governor. Martinez campaigned against the proposed carbon pollution rules and even told Politico in August that she had herdoubts about the human causes of global warming.

The new rule will apply to stationary sources that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide—mostly electrical generating power plants, refineries, and natural gas processing and compression facilities—to reduce carbon emissions by 3 percent annually from 2010 levels.

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