Episode 401: Clean Car Rule, “Living Lots” for Albuquerque, Virgin Galactic Delayed Again and more

New Mexico’s unelected Environmental Improvement Board has adopted a new “clean car rule” at the urging of Gov. Lujan Grisham. California’s (and New Mexico’s)  standards will require roughly 7% of new cars sold to be zero emission in 2025. In the 3rd quarter of 2021 zero emission vehicles amounted to just 2.29% of new vehicle sales in New Mexico. So, those sales will need to just more than triple from Q3 of 2021 to 2025. The rule could get much more restrictive soon as California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued an  executive order ordering the end the sale of gas-powered cars in California by 2035. California’s own unelected board is expected to hold a vote on final adoption of that in August.

If California enacts this rule, 35% of new cars, SUVs and small pickups sold in California (and thus New Mexico) must be zero-emission starting with 2026 models, then increasing yearly, reaching 51% of all new car sales in 2028, 68% in 2030 and 100% in 2035. Of those, 20% can be plug-in hybrids.

Another delay for Virgin Galactic as their stock market continues to drop.

New Mexico’s loan ban was based on false information. A new report from Illinois which adopted a similar law show the number of lenders and loans available to low-income customers has dropped dramatically. 

Questions remain for New Mexico’s future electricity reliability. PNM had proposed to build a 280-megawatt “peaking” natural gas plant – which can rapidly ramp up and down as needed – alongside new renewable generation but that has not been built due to PRC opposition. The Avangrid/PNM merger remains alive with an appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court, but the real strategy seems to be to wait for MLG to put pro-merger people on PRC before she leaves office.

ABQ City councilor proposes “living lots” for local homeless, Paul and Wally have some thoughts.

New Mexico’s new sick leave mandate takes effect on July 1, but we STILL don’t have a final rule. 

According to a new Tax Foundation report New Mexico’s sales tax is very broad, 2nd most broad among US states (to Hawaii).

Early voting at county clerk offices begins (today) May 10. Paul has recently interviewed the four main GOP candidates for Gov. and both candidates for CD 1 here and here (all of which are contested).