The legislative session is over. We join many others in calling for paid legislators, extended legislative sessions that allow for measured debate and deliberation, and the time and resources necessary for legislators to research, talk to constituents and carefully consider their votes. The consequences of the rushed and haphazard chaos that is the New Mexico legislative process are clear - progress is stymied, New Mexico remains close to last on measures of education and poverty, and industry continues its chokehold on our "leaders," who are loathe to bite the hand that feeds them and who continue to allow the beautiful land that we love to be sacrificed on the altar of profit.
As expected, important social and economic justice bills finally passed, and those important strides should be celebrated. But when it comes to the environment, our leaders continue to tinker at the edges, refusing to protect New Mexicans from the predatory extraction of monopoly utilities and the oil and gas industry. On Sunday we joined with twenty organizations in the state to call out NM leadership in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Sunday ad in the Santa Fe New Mexican signed by Adelante Progressive Caucus, Citizens for Fair Rates and the Environment, Common Ground Rising, Food and Water Watch, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Green Amendment for the Generations, Indivisible Nob Hill, Los Alamos Study Group, Los Jardines Institute, New Energy Economy, NM Climate Justice, Physicians for Social Responsibility NM, Progressive Democrats of Central NM, Pueblo Action Alliance, Renewable Taos, Retake Our Democracy, Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens, Southwest Environmental Center, Southwest Native Cultures, Tewa Women United, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Veterans for Peace - Santa Fe, and Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA).
Yes, important groundwork was laid with HB76 (EIB Permit Denial), SB8 (Local Govt Air Quality Regulations) and SB112 (Sustainable Economy Task Force), but with the exception of a substantially weakened Community Solar Act, actual policy to immediately reduce emissions and environmental harms died on every count. New Mexico leaders failed once again to prioritize LIFE itself over profit, refusing to regulate and enforce against environmental harms or to hold industry accountable for their actions. Our work continues, and we ask you to continue the fight with us.
In the year ahead we must redouble our efforts. The fight over abandonment of the Four Corners Power Plant (and who will pay!) continues, and the Avangrid merger case has begun. We have already begun work with a coalition of organizations and individuals to advance effective regulation and enforcement of oil and gas waste across the state. And we will rely on your support to push our leaders to follow the science. As we noted in our ad, we have nine years to reduce emissions by 50%. Every day counts.