Green Amendment Supporters Say They'll Try Again Next Session To Get On The November Ballot
Supporters of placing the Green Amendmentin the New Mexico Constitution say they will be back in during next year’s legislative session to try and get it on the November ballot.
It’s the fourth time advocates will try to get the measure through Roundhouse, the last three never got past the floor.
Senator Antionette Sedillo Lopez is again leading the charge. She told members of the Water and Natural Resources Committee last week that the right to a clean environment is as important to New Mexicans as freedoms of speech and religion.
“By placing the environmental rights in our Constitution's Bill of Rights we are ensuring that they are given the same legal and constitutional standing as other inalienable rights of fundamental importance to all New Mexicans,” she said. “We recognize the importance of protecting our speech rights, our religious freedoms and our civil rights and it is just as important to protect the rights of our people to clean water and air, a healthy climate and environment.”
The amendment states the people of New Mexico shall be entitled to clean and healthy air, water, soil and environments; a stable climate; and self-sustaining ecosystems, for the benefit of public health, safety and general welfare. It also says the state shall protect these rights equitably for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, tribal membership status, gender, socio-economics or geography.
In the past the amendment has had trouble getting out of committees with Republicans and some Democrats in opposition.
A state report suggested a green amendment could dramatically slow the permitting process for renewable energy projects by creating new legal uncertainties.