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New Mexico threatens a U-turn on environmental regulations

4 corners plant New Mexico, the only state besides California to move forward on comprehensive global warming regulations, is reversing course under a new Republican governor, Susana Martinez. The move threatens to cripple the Western Climate Initiative, a California-driven effort to enact a regional trading program to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Martinez, who replaced Democrat Bill Richardson, announced on Tuesday that she is removing all members of New Mexico's Environmental Improvement Board because of what she said was its "anti-business" policies. After a heated debate, the board last year approved measures to limit the emissions of the state's largest polluters and to join the regional cap-and-trade program.

Supporters argue that the board, whose members were appointed by Richardson, went through an exhaustive public process before approving the regulations, but Martinez's office contends the board moved forward with the regulations after state lawmakers rejected similar efforts during the legislative process.

Martinez said in a statement that New Mexico has been hurt by policies that discourage economic development and result in businesses fleeing the state. "Unfortunately, the majority of EIB members have made it clear that they are more interested in advancing political ideology than implementing common-sense policies that balance economic growth with responsible stewardship in New Mexico," Martinez said.

Susana martinezAPwm faulkner With global warming legislation stymied in Congress by coal and oil interests, environmentalists have looked to the states for measures to address the growing levels of carbon dioxide emissions that are trapping heat in Earth's atmosphere and causing changes in the climate. California, New Mexico and other Western states have begun to suffer longer droughts, rapidly melting snowpacks and other effects that scientists attribute to human-induced global warming.

Northeastern states have imposed a cap-and-trade program to curb greenhouse gas emissions of power plants. Under California's 2006 global warming legislation, the state's air resources board last month enacted cap-and-trade rules covering a broad range of industries, including cement, oil and electric power. New Mexico was expected to be the next state to follow suit.

The Western Climate Initiative, originally envisioned as covering seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces, would be a hedge against businesses moving to other states to avoid emissions regulations.

Martinez's letter to the New Mexico board members, who serve at the governor's pleasure, said their removal was effective immediately. If any members wish to reapply, Martinez said she would consider their qualifications on a case-by-case basis.

Cap-and-trade critics had alleged during the board's hearings last year on the emissions proposals that some board members had a conflict of interest and were too closely aligned with environment interests. Board members and the state attorney general dismissed those claims.

Gay Dillingham, the board's chairwoman, told the Associated Press she hopes Martinez's administration takes the time to understand the emissions program. She noted that the board reviewed 200 hours of technical testimony, public comments and complex documents before reaching a decision. "So as a citizen, I would expect the same dedication be given to reviewing all the evidence before she commits to overturning or supporting it," Dillingham said. "History has shown us there is a dynamic relationship between regulatory obligation and private-sector innovation, and we need enough time to give this process a chance to work for New Mexico."

The fate of the emissions rules remains uncertain. Martinez issued an executive order Saturday halting all pending regulations by executive branch agencies under her control to determine whether they hurt businesses in New Mexico. She also directed agencies to review rules now in place and determine by the end of the month which ones should be scrapped to improve economic development and job growth.

Even if Martinez's administration overturns the rules, another public process — including a hearing and an opportunity for the public to comment — would be necessary.


California, New Mexico and Canadian states outline regional trading system

Schwarzenegger's legacy: California enacts a "cautious" cap-and-trade program

West Coast coal exports challenged on greenhouse gases

Colorado ditches coal

--Margot Roosevelt, with the Associated Press

Photo: The Four Corners Power Plant in Fruitland, N.M., spews tons of invisible toxic pollutants from burning coal into the air, including nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and mercury. Emissions from such plants could be curbed under greenhouse gas regulations. Credit: Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald; New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez/Credit: William Faulkner/AP

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Mexico should be observed by the environmentalist organizations knowing that it's not only Mexico who will suffer but the whole world.

Polluters doublespeak glossary:

"Anti-business" = "anti-pollution"

"common-sense" = "non-scientific"

Come on people, quit falling for this. I don't like liberals either, but these polluters are poisoning all of us.

Of course regulations hurt business. If you didn't have regulations, business would still hire child miners, pollute rivers with industrial waste, build power plants in residential areas and so on. Business only gives a damn about the bottom line. Only when politicians were shamed by child labor, meaningless death in sweatshops, rivers on fire, etc, did this country regulate business. Business is not guided by morality.

I know the oil industry bought her way in, using the hispanic name to push past the real voice of NM. I hope hell exist, she'll find her way there, Im sure.

Are you kidding me? Idiot republicans are still deny climate change and their repeal of this important forward environmental movement will have dire consequences for future not present generations. Reps do not give a rats --- for anything but business and pollution and OH yes the JOBS which will never come.

I am ashamed of my state.

Finally some leadership with some common sense!!! The environmental policies are getting WAY out of control!


Go Martinez!!

Climate Change,(The name had to change because the cold weather blew global warming out the door)has Nothing to do with the weather or climate. It is a money grab from the United States for other Countries.Obama's...'Spread the Wealth'.
Obamacare has nothing to do with Health Care. It is a power grab to keep the people of the United States under the thumb of the Government.

To pecos45 - the scientists are getting well paid to find in favor of man-made global warming. Look to any university and you will find money streaming in for all the different research projects that makes man the villian. Man is a minimal contributor to the climate swings that go on naturally. The climate cycles can be short or long, but they are not the fault of man. The changes have been going on since the earth was created. Wake up and smell the tacos.

If climate change is a "hoax" then where is the payoff?
How will all of these scientists get rich over reporting that greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change?

We know that the oil companies profit if climate change is discredited, but what's the motivation for scientists to fabricate data?

I'm waiting. (crickets chirping)

Just goes to show how LAME the private sector in this country has become. They all whine and complain endlessly if someone tries to introduce new standards outside the old way of doing things ("You'll drive us away!", "We won't be able to compete!", etc.), but then do a complete 180 degree turn when it comes to their employees. Employees are all supposed to embrace the brave, new corporate world of no job security, dwindling benefits, and falling pay. Corporate executives are desperate to get employees to believe they can't expect the old ways to work in the 21st century.

For those of you who don't live in NM, or live in NM but are unaware, the southern portion of the State depends on oil, mining, and agriculture. There must be a balance between these three in order to achieve prosperity. Progressive policies are not the answer. Neither are purely political policies. If Martinez wants to ensure safe stewardship of NM then she has four years to come up with a solution.

So why does the LA Times care? Clean up LA first, then CA.

I attended the hearings. No debates were allowed, only comments were taken. Look up the eib board members, they were all from the left. One was a professor at NMSU and was given a grant of $160,000 from Bill in Aug of 2010. You can find pictures of the board members at Bill fund raisers. I could not find one from the other side that could offer information on how this would ruin the economy of NM. Also left out of the news was that Albuqueque and Bernillo county were exempt from the regulations, intel possibly?? And just how many jobs are there for wind mills? we don't make them in NM and I have driven past many never seeing a human nearby??

Adults are back in charge in NM. Throw the earthers out!

Thank you! Finally someone with half a brain has been elected to govern! This almost makes me want to move to New Mexico!

Good for NM.
It's time to bury the global warming scam. No more effort should be spent on a scam that is based totally on fabricated data.

The plan was to hurt business with cap and trade TAXES and hinder companies from moving to friendlier states. The TAXES are passed on to me and you the consumer. Website said 153 businesses left Ca. this past year(2010) . The global scam is a sneaky tax ploy.. Look up Al gore and maurice strong. the fix is in!

What Martinez is doing is reversing policies developed by ONLY progressives. The same reason that heath care reform is going down the drain. Progressives are so narcissistic they actually believe they and only they know what is right thus any means justifies their ends, not ours theirs.

Like heath care those who would foot the bills were not at the table. Progressives lie about everything.

Good job Martinez, how about taking over the Governor job here in California. California is in deep trouble with it's Liberal hoax agenda.

I think that there is a typo in the first para
Should be catastrophic not comprehensive

Like the Birthers, those who believe that Global Warming is a conspiracy theory care nothing about scientific facts. We waste our breath talking to them. In this case, I only hope that there is a hearing and an opportunity for the public to comment before this idiot hijacks the state's efforts to create a safe, healthy environment for us and our kids.

Well, if New Mexico wants sickness, death and environmental destruction, why don't they vote Republican? Oh wait, they did!

hmm, well, cap and trade is just a big bank/big energy giveaway, so as an environmentalist, i oppose it. tons of money, no results.

that said, good environmental policy is absolutely, 100% tied into good economic policy, and vice versa, which is why CONSERVATIVES are the biggest supporters of Germany's feed in tariff - modest return on investment for regular middle class people who install rooftop solar and sell power into the grid.

not only does local solar create twice as many jobs as Big Solar and 3 times as many as Big Wind (per CARB), but it improves local economies with a multiplier effect because not only are people earning money but they are no longer opening ever new veins for Big Energy monopolies.

so, if she wants to do the SMART thing for the economy, and coincidentally for the environment, while boosting jobs, property values and revenues, she will immediately copy the German feed in tariff program and get those millions of sun-baked rooftops and parking lots in NM's built environment cranking out high-value peaker solar power.

so, does she care about people and the economy, or is she only interested in remonopolizing and recentralizing a crappy 19th century grid? it's one or the other.

THIS IS EXCELLENT!!!! GREAT JOB MARTINEZ!!! these restrictions are way too aggressive and there will never be a time when we're at zero for emissions....can't be done! next on the chopping block, CALIFORNIA'S AIR RESOURCES BOARD!!!! it's killing ALL our businesses...small, medium, and large.

This backward woman takes NM back into the Coal Age. As warned by her very ineffective opponent, she is driven to establish oil interests from her home state of Texas who funded her into office. And the people of NM watched her commercials and rubberstamped her funders' desire to put her in to do as she promised: Eliminate the needs of people in favor of the desires of environmentally expolitative businessmen.

She will be hated by the vast majority of those same people, inasmuch as environomental consciousness is richly instilled there. The damage she will do will be hard to repair, just to bring the state back up to where she begins to dismantle it. But she will not be re-elected, and will establish for the voters a yardstick, what they have to watch out for in the future, lasting perhaps quite a while.

Martinez will probably get a lot of money by doing this. She cares more about her personal wealth than the health of the people. What an incompetent governor she is!

Right, much like the levels of Chromium in 31 of the Largest Major Cities in the United States. I'm sure we can afford the insurmountable health care costs associated with Corporate Greed which has continued to get away with polluting our environments. But of course, you will just make up some excuse for that. Just remember this, those results were found in 31 of the LARGEST CITIES in the U.S. Just wait to see the results of small towns and small cities that suffer at the expense of these companies "saving" money. Good luck folks! Keep voting for "NO"

With the Eco-Tastic crowd worried, I am happy as can be!
Thank you New Mexico for using reasoning and electing a Republican!


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