Saturday, January 8, 2011

2 Environment Rules Halted in New Mexico

The New York Times
by Felicity Barringer
January 6, 2010

"Acting on a campaign promise, New Mexico’s new Republican governor, Susana Martinez, has scuttled a state regulation requiring annual 3 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

A second environmental rule intended to control the discharge of waste from dairies in southern New Mexico was also dropped before publication. A different state rule that caps greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants remains in effect for the time being."...

..."Governor Martinez, who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests, has also said that she does not believe that science has clearly established a link between climate change and human activity.

As if to emphasize that point, on Thursday she appointed the geologist and former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, another skeptic, as secretary of the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

The measure on cutting emissions by 3 percent was struck on Tuesday, when the governor’s office instructed a senior official at the state’s records center not to publish it in the next state register, to be issued on Jan. 14.

Because state regulations become final on publication, that rule, which was adopted in December by the state’s Environmental Improvement Board, now appears to have no force. Bruce Frederick, a lawyer for the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, called Governor Martinez’s action “underhanded” and “illegal,” adding: “It’s beyond the power of the governor. What she’s trying to do is change the result in a case after the judgment has been rendered.”' More>>>>

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