By Luke Johnson
New Mexico’s oil and gas utilities have filed petitions with the state’s Environmental Impact Board, seeking to overturn rules establishing a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
The utilities argue that the new rules are prohibitively expensive, the costs will be passed onto consumers, and New Mexico’s emissions barely factor into climate change worldwide. However, environmentalists say that the EIB is stacked with industry supporters.
“This is a biased board, period,” Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy (NEE), told the AP. “The party who is in front of the board that’s supposed to be adjudicating it, judging it, had discussions before the petition was even filed. We’ve never heard of such a thing.”
Former Gov. Bill Richardson supported the program, while current Gov. Susana Martinez opposes it.