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Santa Fe, NM -On Wednesday, March 3,the New Mexico House of Representatives voted to move forward on groundbreaking climate legislation that would cut global warming pollution and establish a "cap and trade program" in New Mexico.  Leaders from the renewable energy industry and from the health and environmental communities hailed the House decision. 

"This unusual move by the House to reject the ‘Do Not Pass' from the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the Global Warming bill shows strong leadership and the House's understanding about the urgency with which we must act to address global warming," says New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry.

"This bill shows important leadership at a critical time", says. Dr. John Fogarty, Executive Director for New Energy Economy.  "It is likely that we will see federal climate legislation in coming years, and states, like New Mexico, that have established climate programs will be on the crest of the green wave of investment."

Rep. Benjamin H. Rodefer (D-Bernalillo & Sandoval-23), introduced HB 653 to enact a new section of the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act to provide authority to the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico and establish a program for greenhouse gas program.   After 2 ½ hours of debate on HB 653 yesterday, the New Mexico House Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted for a "do not pass." However, when the committee report went to the full House for consideration later in the day, the House rejected the committee report by a vote of 26 to 38. The bill will now move onto to House Judiciary.  

Global warming is one of the biggest public health challenges for our generation.  Leaders from around the state are noting that it is critical that government agencies like the EIB take action to protect public health and preserve air and water quality in New Mexico.  The bill will establish a greenhouse gas emissions trading and banking program and a method for establishing and allocating emission allowances and reduction units, including the free distribution of allowances to electricity.

Governor Richardson's Climate Change Advisory Group released a report in December 2006 that created a plan to reduce emissions in New Mexico back to 1990 levels by 2020.  Other states are moving quickly on climate policy, including California, Washington, and Massachusetts, which have adopted legislation to reduce emissions in their states.

HB 653 will establish and adjust as appropriate the statewide greenhouse gas emissions level in 2000 and the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit that is equivalent to ten percent below that level by 2020. The EIB department would establish and adjust as appropriate the post-2020 greenhouse gas emissions limit not less than three years in advance of the effective date of the limit.

NM Judiciary Committee Members

New Energy Economy is dedicated to creating green jobs, boosting the economy and solving global warming.

Jennifer Marshall