January 11, 2011
For Immediate Release
Mariel Nanasi (505) 469-4060
Executive Director, New Energy Economy
Bruce Frederick (505) 989-9022
Attorney, New Mexico Environmental Law Center
New Energy Economy Takes Action to Maintain Rule of Law
Claims Martinez administration has violated State Constitution in effort to permit increased carbon pollution
Santa Fe – New Energy Economy has today filed a writ of mandamus in the New Mexico Supreme Court that seeks to reverse recent actions taken by the Martinez administration to prevent the lawful publication of final administrative rules as codified state law. The writ was filed by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) on behalf of New Energy Economy. The nonprofit advocacy group claims that the Martinez administration has deliberately and illegally prevented the codification and publication of numerous final and filed rules legally adopted by various boards and commissions before the start of 2011.
‘Frankly, we expected Governor Martinez to favor PNM and other major polluters over the interests of New Mexico’s families and businesses, but we are surprised at how quickly her administration has apparently violated the Constitution in pursuit of an ideological agenda,’ says Mariel Nanasi, New Energy Economy’s Executive Director. ‘I hope we can chalk this up to some inexperienced staffers in the new administration and move on to creating jobs and prosperity for New Mexicans.’
New Energy Economy (NEE) successfully led a two-year public hearing process to get the New Mexico Environment Improvement Board (EIB) to adopt a carbon pollution reduction rule that seeks to stimulate job growth, particularly in the State’s energy industry. The EIB voted to adopt this rule as a final rule on December 6, 2010 pursuant to the Environment Improvement Act and the Air Quality Control Act (AQCA) and filed the final rule with the State Records Center on December 27, 2010. Since this rule was adopted by the EIB as a final rule in accordance with the law, NEE claims that this rule can not be impacted by an Executive Order issued by Governor Martinez that called for the suspension of all ‘proposed or pending’ rules.
Further, New Energy Economy claims that the EIB has exclusive legal authority to adopt, repeal or amend rules under the AQCA. So, Governor Martinez’s then acting Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, Raj Solomon, did not have legal authority to prevent the carbon reduction rule adopted by the EIB from being published as codified law. Mr. Solomon, a former manager for the State’s public pool program, has been replaced by F. David Martin as Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department.
‘Laws are published and codified because the public must be able to access and review these laws,’ asserts Bruce Frederick, the NMELC attorney filing the writ. ‘This is a fundamental right in our democratic society and essential to transparent and representative government.’
When NEE’s attorneys reviewed public records pertaining to the administration’s efforts to prevent publication of the carbon pollution reduction rule, they discovered that the administration had taken similar, apparently illegal actions to prevent the codification and publication of thirty-two final and filed rules adopted by various boards and commission before the start of 2011.
About New Energy Economy
New Energy Economy is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 2004 to create economic opportunity in New Mexico with less carbon pollution and more clean energy. NEE works in partnership with diverse allies to encourage job growth, investment and innovation in a more efficient, sustainable and equitable energy sector. New Energy Economy grounds its work in the research and findings of the world’s leading scientific and technological authorities including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Learn more at www.newenergyeconomy.org