Mayor Marty: Not Green Enough?

By most accounts, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez is one of the most pro-environment mayors in the nation. We at the Rio Grande Foundation have not always agreed with him on some of his environmental initiatives, most notably the “modern streetcar” which was supposedly designed to get cars off Albuquerque streets.
Of course, there are always some on the extreme fringes for whom even major “green” initiatives are simply not enough. One of those voices, a Dr. John Fogarty who runs a group called Physicians for Social Responsibility, but who has also served on New Mexico’s Climate Change Advisory Group and Gov. Bill Richardson’s Green Building Task Force. To Fogarty, all the green building codes in the world are not enough because they still have that dirty little word “building.”
You see, while Fogarty decries “sprawl” and global warming, and our need for foreign oil, he offers no real solutions to the problem. Fogarty’s regional transportation plans are simply an attempt to impose Portland, OR style policies on New Mexico residents who do not want them. The sad thing is that while Portlanders have grown increasingly resentful of the heavy-handed nature of regional planning bodies, sprawl has increased and so has automobile usage. Portland doesn’t work.
Fogarty and others are trying to impose land use policies in direct opposition to the wishes and desires of New Mexicans. After all, if people wanted to live downtown, wouldn’t the condos down there be selling?