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 (SANTA FE, NM)—New Energy Economy has petitioned the state Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) to adopt new regulations that would dramatically reduce global warming pollution over the next decade. The second public meeting on the EIB petition is Monday, April 6, 2009, 2:30 p.m. in Room 317 of the New Mexico State Capitol. The first public hearing was January 5, 2009. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed the petition on behalf of New Energy Economy. Bruce Frederick of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center and Dr. John Fogarty of New Energy Economy will be presenting.

At the January meeting the opposition (PNM, NM Oil and Gas Assoc, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assoc., Inc., Dairy Producers of NM, and NM Farm and Livestock Bureau) argued that the EIB does not have the legal authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and cannot hold public hearings to determine if they are a public health hazard. The opposition argues that greenhouse gas emissions do not constitute air pollution and are not a public nuisance and unfairly regulates their industries.

Supporters of the petition including New Energy Economy, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, New Mexico Physicians for Social Responsibility, Amigos Bravos, Community Action New Mexico, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, Conference of Churches, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, New Mexico Solar Energy Association, Western Resource Advocates, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, EarthCare International, and New Mexico Wildlife Federation will endorse setting a carbon emissions cap in New Mexico. They state that global warming and the regulation of greenhouse gasses is of utmost importance and that the public's welfare is at stake.

“The science is clear that global warming is underway, and we must take immediate action,” Dr. John Fogarty, Executive Director for New Energy Economy. “The Environmental Improvement Board can lead the way by setting science-based limits on greenhouse gas emissions that will protect our children and future generations.”

“Real consequences from global warming have and will continue to impact New Mexicans, especially those most vulnerable," says Dr. Lucy Boulanger, an infectious disease expert with Physicians for Social Responsibility. "The spread of diseases like West Nile, dengue fever, cholera, and malaria already have been linked to global warming. We can’t afford to wait any longer for action.”

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center, New Energy Economy and all EIB petition supporters will argue that EIB has the authority to regulate all air pollutants that may injure human health or animal or plant life or as may unreasonably interfere with the public welfare, visibility or the reasonable use of property under NMSA (1978) § 74-2-2.B.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), composed of more than 1,200 leading international scientists, has concluded that developed nations must reduce global warming pollution by at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid catastrophic changes.

Global warming impacts New Mexico with increased temperatures and drought, water scarcity; forest fires; increased prevalence of insect outbreaks and infectious diseases; and extinction of plant and animal species which both humans and animals depend for food and other resources.

Should a hearing be granted and the petition passed, New Mexico would lead the nation with the most significant and strongest regulations in the United States


Jennifer Marshall