The schedule is set. March 1 is the one and only public comment session being held by the Environmental Improvement Board. Now is the time to begin mobilizing participation so that all voices are heard on the matter of a proposal to implement a New Mexico-only cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is a critical policy issue that could have major economic impacts of the state. I’ll be heading up for this important meeting. I encourage you to attend as well.
Please spread the word and encourage participation at the March 1 public comment session in Santa Fe. , Please consider sending an alert to your membership in the next week to remind them of this key date and urge their participation. Below is a sample alert that you are welcome to forward.
Attached are some background materials that may be of use to you as you brief others on this issue.
The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) will hold a public comment session on March 1 to hear input on a proposal to implement a cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state.
Numerous groups are in opposition to this proposal because of the severe economic impacts such a measure would likely have on New Mexico.
The proposal calls for a reduction in statewide Greenhouse Gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by the year 2020 – a more aggressive goal than anything currently under consideration at the federal level. The cap would apply to such entities as oil and gas producers, refineries, manufacturers, cement and asphalt plants, power plants, universities, military bases, mineral processing operations, and numerous others.
* When: March 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* Where: State Personnel Office Auditorium, Willie Ortiz Building, 2600 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe 87505
* What: EIB public comment session on proposed New Mexico Carbon Cap.
The EIB has not yet set the exact process for the session, but if you plan on making a comment you should assume you will be heard on a first-come, first-served basis unless you hear otherwise.
Key concerns that those opposed to the proposal include:
* This proposal provides no cost mitigation measures because it requires affected sources to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases through the addition of pollution controls that are not commercially available, fuel switching, reduced operation, or closure.
* The cap would affect regulated industries, and their customers, in the state of New Mexico only. It would represent a cost driver unique to New Mexico, and therefore place the state at an economic disadvantage with other states. Ultimately, it creates an incentive for affected industries to leave the state.
* While exact impacts are not yet known because no comprehensive economic impact study has been performed, it is clear that this price driver unique to New Mexico would significantly increase the cost of doing business in the state.
* The cap would make no discernable impact on the amount of manmade greenhouse gasses widely believed to be contributing to global climate change.
* The proposed cap on GHG emissions is applicable to regulated sources in New Mexico and covers only about 32 percent of anthropogenic GHG emissions in the state.
* Under current law, the Board has no authority to regulate air emissions from power plants located on tribal lands. Such sources represent the single largest emitter source of GHG emissions in New Mexico and nearly half of all GHG emissions from the electric utility sector in the state.