SANTA FE, N.M. – Gov. Susana Martinez could be on her way to court less than two weeks after taking office.
Environmental groups are petitioning the state Supreme Court to compel the governor to move forward with rules that aim to reduce the amount of climate-change pollution coming from the Land of Enchantment. Martinez has ordered a 90-day hold in the rules, which were finalized before she took office.
Mariel Nanansi of New Energy Economy, which developed the carbon-reduction plan, says the group had already won fights with utilities and industry in the courts but Martinez is trying to circumvent that system.
“She couldn’t even go through the proper legal channels and publish the rules, and then appeal it in the court, if that’s what they thought needed to happen, or some other legal route.”
The governor’s office says it is delaying publication pending review of the rules. Nanansi suspects the motivation is more ideological, pointing to Martinez’ appointment of former U.S. Sen. Harrison Schmitt to head the Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources. Schmitt has expressed skepticism about the scientific consensus on the existence of climate change.