Lessons learned in the 2022 legislative session, and what comes next
The 2022 legislative session resulted in one, and only one, positive climate victory. The Community Energy Efficiency Development Block...
HB12 doubles down on the use of New Mexicans and New Mexico as a sacrifice zone. It gambles our land, air and water and the health of the New Mexican people for the profit of private industry, and offers unlimited public funds to facilitate the development of so called "advanced" energy technologies that are in fact either proven harmful (nuclear and fossil fueled hydrogen) or unproven and risky (carbon capture and sequestration).
This bill will perpetuate our dependence on fossil fuels, cause the proliferation of false climate solutions that delay the transition we need, and disempower the people through violations of transparency, democratic oversight, and a continued failure to consult in meaningful ways with Indigenous Peoples and other frontline communities that stand to be most harmed.
HB 12 sacrifices New Mexico Land, air, water and people on the altar of fossil fuel profits.
HB 12 is designed to finance an energy economy based on fossil fueled hydrogen, nuclear, and carbon capture & sequestration with public funds to benefits private corporations.
Enshrines a neo-liberal market based approach to emissions reductions that has been proven counter-productive and ineffective, serving only to enrich corporations.
Invests the funds that should be used for proven technologies like solar, wind and battery storage into unproven and dangerous pipe dreams that prolong the extraction economy.
HB 12 facilitates an unlimited and undemocratic transfer of public funds to private corporations.
HB12 allows the state to take over failed projects from private companies and pay them for their failure. It offers incentives to invest in risky projects such as hydrogen, carbon capture and nuclear reactors that will result in stranded assets and losses.
Creates mechanisms to transfer unlimited public funding to private industry through public/private partnerships.
Creates an enormous exception to state procurement rules, effectively eliminating requirements for competitive procurement (comparison between bids with selection being based on cost-effectiveness and other criteria).
Allows exemptions to the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) to permit closed-door industry preference, and self-dealing that is free from oversight and public scrutiny.
FOSSIL FUELED HYDROGEN INCREASES EXTRACTION AND EMISSIONS, PROLONGING OUR DEPENDENCE ON OIL & GAS
99% of hydrogen comes from Steam Methane Reforming of methane gas and results in more dangerous emissions than burning natural gas for heat. (1) It does not actually facilitate a transition AWAY from extractive industry, but actually increases dependency on it. The federal funding available for hydrogen development is not a good enough reason to destroy our future.
NUCLEAR ENERGY IS DANGEROUS, CAUSES DEADLY WASTE AND LASTING HARMS & IS TOO SLOW TO PREVENT CLIMATE CHANGE
Nuclear energy, nuclear powered hydrogen and nuclear waste result in intergenerational harms through every phase of production, from uranium mining to the danger of nuclear meltdown to the still unsolved problem of nuclear waste storage. Even the modular reactors currently being promoted take up to ten years to permit and build, and do not resolve the issues of safety and waste disposal. (2,3)
CARBON CAPTURE AND SEQUESTRATION IS BEING PROMOTED AS AN EXCUSE TO CONTINUE EXTRACTION AND COMBUSTION
Carbon capture has failed to come close to the 95 percent capture rates promised in commercial facilities, and is being used as an excuse to continue fossil fuel extraction, implement fossil fueled hydrogen projects and otherwise greenwash extractive industries with the unrealistic dream of capturing and permanently storing the emissions being produced.(4) We must focus on reducing CO2, not trying to stuff it underground after the fact.
CODIFIES INADEQUATE AND LIMITED EMISSIONS REDUCTION GOALS AND THE USE OF OFFSETS AND NET-ZERO GOALS
Net-zero is not real zero, and shuffling emissions from place to place is not the answer. The sooner we face the necessity of ending the fossil fuel economy, the better.
1) How green is blue hydrogen? https://doi.org/10.1002/ese3.956
2) Small modular reactors will not save the day. The US can get to 100% clean power without new nuclear.https://www.utilitydive.com/news/small-modular-reactor-smr-wind-solar-battery-100-percent-clean-power-electricity/637372/
3] Water, molten salt, and sodium-cooled SMR designs will increase the volume of nuclear waste in need of management and disposal by factors of 2 to 30. Nuclear waste from small modular reactors. https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2111833119
4) Oil and Gas’s Pivot to Blue Hydrogen Is Falling Through. https://theintercept.com/2022/07/30/blue-hydrogen-climate-oil-and-gas/