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Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bill Stalls In Committee

Kevin Meerschaert
Senate Pro-Tem Mimi Stewart and Ben Shelton, Politics and Legislative Director of Conservation Voters of New Mexico address members of the NM Senate Conservation Committee.

A bill that would have established new statewide greenhouse gas emission standards has stalled out in the Senate Conservation Committee and is dead for the session.
The bill introduced by Senate Pro-Tem Mimi Stewart would have set statewide greenhouse gas emissions at least 50-percent less than 2005 levels by 2030, 75-percent by 2040 and 90-percent less than 2005 by 2050 and beyond.

But SB 520 ran into problems in the committee from both the Republicans and Democrat Joseph Cervantes who said it was too broad and did not include any sanctions against anyone who failed to meet the requirements.

The bill received a 4-4 vote to table and another 4-4 to move it forward without a recommendation.

Without a majority vote the bill will remain in limbo with only a week and a half left in the session.

An unhappy Stewart says it’s time to stop kicking the climate change ball down the road in New Mexico.

“This is a big conversation among the regular people in this state who don’t seem to really understand that when we get up here the industry shuts things down, they just shut it down,” she said. “Oh, their businesses are going to move out of state, Oh, my God, what are the dairy farmers going to do?’ Until we are really all looking at climate change we’re not going to move forward as a state. It’s very depressing but it’s something I will never stop working on.”       

Stewart says the state is reaching an impasse between the oil and gas industry and the rest of New Mexico. She says many people, particularly young people, are always asking that something be done about climate change, but it’s next to impossible to get anything accomplished. Stewart says with only a few days remaining in the session, it’s doubtful that much to battle climate charge will get passed.            

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.