New York Times: 2 Environment Rules Halted in New Mexico

January 2011

By Felicity Barringer

Acting on a campaign promise, New Mexico’s new Republican governor, Susana Martinez, has scuttled a state regulation requiring annual 3 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

A second environmental rule intended to control the discharge of waste from dairies in southern New Mexico was also dropped before publication. A different state rule that caps greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants remains in effect for the time being.

During her campaign, Governor Martinez described the regulation of heat-trapping emissions as burdensome for industry and harmful to the state’s economy. Her swift action upon taking office comes as the newly elected governors of two other southwestern states, Arizona and California, are setting a different tone, firmly advocating greater reliance on clean energy.

Governor Martinez, who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests, has also said that she does not believe that science has clearly established a link between climate change and human activity.

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