By Laura Thornquist
SANTA FE, N.M. – A battle is brewing that could determine the future of New Mexico’s landmark carbon pollution reduction rule. The newly-appointed New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) is opposing intervention by the clean energy advocacy group New Energy Economy in a Court of Appeals case. The case was brought by PNM, the state’s largest utility, in another effort to repeal the rule.
Mariel Nanasi, who heads New Energy Economy, sees this as the latest in a string of attempts by Governor Susana Martinez’s administration to help PNM repeal the rule, as the utility contributed to her election campaign.
“This stamp by the Environmental Improvement Board shows their predisposition against addressing pollution control measures in New Mexico, despite the title and their duty to address environmental concerns.”
Nanasi says an economic analysis, by Synapse Energy Economics, of the rule’s impact on the state shows it will help spur some economic growth. She says what happens in the Court of Appeals will directly affect the economy, and the health of New Mexicans.
“Addressing carbon pollution will actually create 17,500 family-supporting jobs in New Mexico’s electric sector alone, through 2020.”
The economic analysis is at newenergyeconomy.org