All hands on deck - NM's climate future is on the floor at the Roundhouse this week



Top priority today - we must speak in a unified voice against the Hydrogen Hub Development Act (HB228). This zombie bill is now scheduled on the House floor and industry forces have captured the imagination of our Governor and legislative leadership, promising jobs and federal cash, and turning their gaze away from the consequences of investing millions of dollars into an industry that has a track record of failure, stranded assets and increased emissions all over the world. Key to their hydrogen dream is the false promise of Carbon Capture and Sequestration. Just four days ago Physicians for Social Responsibility published an article titled "Danger Ahead: The Public Health Disaster That Awaits From Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)." The article makes a powerful indictment of the false solution being pushed by our state leadership:

CCS is currently being promoted by the fossil fuel industry as a potential solution to climate change — after all, it’s in their best interest to prolong the life of the existing fossil fuel infrastructure. However, there’s more than one catch. It’s a highly experimental technology with an unproven track record of actually reducing CO2 emissions or removing pre-existing CO2 from the atmosphere — a necessary step for actually solving the climate crisis. A recent study by Professor Mark Jacobson at Stanford University shows that a carbon capture-equipped coal plant only results in a net 10.5-10.8% CO2 captured over 20 years. Moreover, the application of carbon capture technology increases the local air pollution and total social costs in relation to the “no capture” scenario. Even when a CCS facility operates perfectly, it does not reduce emissions at a meaningful rate. CCS is also very expensive. Unlike cost-competitive technologies such as solar and wind, it would not be able to reach economic viability without significant public subsidies.

If you have a personal relationship with any Representative or Senator, now is the time to reach out to them and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 228. If you don't have that personal relationship, you can still make a tremendous difference by calling and emailing your Representative and Senator and plastering facebook and twitter with your opposition to HB228. Don't forget to tag #nmleg and @ your Representatives and Senators in your posts! (Talking points here.)

If we lose the vote on the House floor we need all Santa Fe people to call, text, tweet and write Senator Wirth to table this extremely dangerous bill. Everyone else contact your Senator and do the same.

OTHER LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

  • HB6 - The Clean Future Act is also scheduled on the House floor. New Energy Economy opposes the inclusion of offsets and carbon credits, the inclusion of CCS (see above), and the exclusion of downstream emissions accounting, but we support the goals of this bill and hope to push for those amendments in the Senate after passage through the House. Contact your Representatives and ask them to vote yes on HB6 so we can continue the fight for improvements.

  • HB 127 - Storage of Certain Radioactive Waste - This will be discussed today on the House floor, it is 5th on the agenda. It is likely to pass! Ask your Representative to support it, and if it does pass then call, text, tweet and write Senator Wirth to send it to the Conservation committee, which is where it should go.

  • SB14 - The Clean Fuel Standards Act has already passed the Senate and will be heard this afternoon in the HGEIC Committee. Reach out now to ask committee members to address some serious issues in the Clean Fuels Standard Act. Namely the inclusion of unproven CCS, as well as, credit/market mechanisms that have proven to be ineffective and also harmful. We need a Clean Fuels Standard Act that is based on best practices -- not the one currently proposed. Best practices would look like:

1) Simple and straight forward fuel efficiency standards. 2) Requirements for % of electric vehicles sold. 3) Investments in public transit.

These are the tools that have proven most effective in reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

It is February and there are wildfires burning all over the country. Democrats have been so afraid of the "big government" moniker for decades, embracing market based solutions that fail to follow the science, exacerbate inequality and result in actual increases in emissions. If Democrats want to claim a bigger role for government in shaping our future, they need to be the ones who are most outraged when the government stands in the way of progress.

Right now the oil and gas industry is posting record profits, nearing $100 a barrel just two years after prices collapsed. See recent headlines: "Exxon Mobil has just given a vote of confidence in the U.S. shale industry with plans to boost output by 25 percent this year in the Permian Basin." (https://www.reuters.com/article/exxonmobil-results-permian-idCNL1N2UC1LD) "Oil is on a roll as the world economy picks up from its pandemic-induced swoon, nearing $100 a barrel just two years after the price collapsed." (https://climatechangedispatch.com/the-great-climate-backslide-why-countries-are-ditching-green-goals/)

Our Democratic leadership must open their eyes and look beyond the market based solutions that have failed us.

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