Gov. Martinez won another victory for New Mexico’s utility rate payers and the economy with the unanimous repeal by the Environmental Improvement Board of the carbon caps originally advocated by Richardson’s Environmental Department.
This is step one of two as the Board still needs to consider repeal of the carbon cap advocated by the environmental group New Energy Economy. This will apparently happen in March.
Certainly, repealing a New Mexico-specific carbon cap is good news for our economy and — when complete — it will lift a burden of uncertainty that has surely made businesses less willing to invest in and do business in the state. However, the most amusing thing about the article on the repeal (the first link in this blog) is the bellyaching over the repeal vote on the part of the environmental groups. A staff attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center is quoted as saying, “It’s obvious that anything that industry wants, they’re going to get from this board, whether it’s good for public health or the environment or not.” Well, pardon me, but wouldn’t the opposite have been true for Richardson’s board? Anything the environmental groups wanted, they could get.
That is the problem with an un-elected board with members appointed by one governor. It is why major decisions like capping carbon emissions should be made by elected legislators, not an un-elected, politically-appointed boards. But you won’t hear that from the enviros because they haven’t convinced the public of their point of view.