August 31, 2011
Contact: Mariel Nanasi 505-469-4060
New Energy Economy Files Motions To Strengthen EIB Accountability
Cites Potential for Conflicts of Interest and Collusion
Santa Fe – New Energy Economy and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed two motions today before the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) to rectify apparent conflicts of interest among EIB members and mitigate the effect of inappropriate communications between EIB members and parties being regulated by the EIB. The motions come as the EIB is considering the fate of the state’s landmark carbon pollution reduction law. Although the law was adopted by the EIB in December of 2010, Governor Susana Martinez has since replaced the EIB board with the intention of repealing the law at the behest of PNM and other major polluters. PNM and the Martinez administration have already unsuccessfully attempted to repeal or invalidate the law.
“The rule of law requires that regulators and the entities they regulate abide by strict codes of conduct to protect the public interest,” said Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director of New Energy Economy. “Fairness and transparency require that EIB members make their decisions based on facts presented as evidence in public hearings, not based on ideological predispositions and back room deals.”
“No board member shall participate in any action in which his or her impartiality of fairness may reasonably be questioned, and both Mr. Casciano and Fulfer already testified in the prior rule making that they were opposed to the carbon pollution reduction rule. Further, Ms. Peacock engaged in ex parte communications with the entity she is supposed to be regulating. These members should recuse themselves, as is required by law,” said Bruce Frederick, attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, who has represented New Energy Economy in the two-year public process that led to the creation of New Mexico’s landmark carbon reduction law. “Disqualification because of impartiality is a threshold issue and must be decided before any hearing proceeds,” declared Frederick.
The law requires facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon pollution per year to reduce these emissions by 3 percent per year from 2010 levels starting in 2013. The law has been lauded by national experts for its capacity to improve New Mexico’s energy security by means of predictability, market-based mechanisms and extensive compliance flexibility. An economic analysis released in February indicated the carbon pollution reduction law has the potential to add 17,500 family-supporting jobs in New Mexico’s electric sector and add more than $2 billion in total added economic value to New Mexico’s families and businesses.
About New Energy Economy
New Energy Economy is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 2004 to create economic opportunity in New Mexico with less carbon pollution and more clean energy. New Energy Economy works in partnership with diverse allies to encourage job growth, investment and innovation in a more efficient, sustainable and equitable energy sector. New Energy Economy grounds its work in the research and findings of the world’s leading scientific and technological authorities. Learn more at www.newenergyeconomy.org