Monday, February 22, 2010

NMELC: GHG Emission Case Gets Attention

New Mexico Environmental Law Center

February 22, 2010

"On January 13, 2010, PNM, El Paso Electric Co., the NM Oil and Gas Assoc., five additional statewide trade groups and three state legislators filed a lawsuit in state district court in Lovington against the NM Environmental Improvement Board (EIB). The suit attempts to prevent the Board, an executive agency, from evaluating the greenhouse gas petition that we submitted on behalf of New Energy Economy in 2008.

"PNM and its allies would rather throw money at lawyers and publicists than work in good faith towards reducing New Mexico's share of greenhouse gas emissions," says Staff Attorney Bruce Frederick. "This time, they've filed a meritless lawsuit in the middle of the 'oil patch' with the obvious hope of gaining a 'hometown' advantage." However, Frederick is confident that the case will be thrown out because "the 'Separation of Powers' doctrine written into our Constitution forbids Courts from interfering with executive decisionmaking."

For the past year, PNM and its co-plaintiffs have been working furiously to defeat our petition. Here's why: our client wants New Mexico to reduce statewide carbon emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020. As the promise of strong federal legislation fades, and the U.S. EPA begins a long road towards adopting federal regulations, state-level action seems the most promising avenue by which to address the threat of climate change.

An EIB hearing to collect public comments will be held on March 1 in Santa Fe at the State Personnel Office Auditorium, Willie Ortiz Building, 2600 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe. The meeting will begin at 10am, (view the EIB hearing agenda).

Your input is important! But check back with our website before March 1, in case the Lovington judge puts a hold on the hearing...

- Shelbie Knox, Development Officer

Get more info and filed documents on the Greenhouse Gas Emission Caps case"

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