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Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009

(SANTA FE, NM) – A New Mexico based organization, 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 public meeting to present the petition to the EIB is Monday, January 5, 2009, 10 a.m. in Porter Hall of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department's Wendell Chino Building, 1220 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe.

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed the petition on behalf of New Energy Economy, calling on the state of New Mexico to reduce greenhouse gases. Bruce Frederick of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center will be requesting a hearing from the Environmental Improvement Board.

“Global warming is the greatest public health challenge for our generation.  It is critical that government agencies like the EIB take action now so that we can protect our health and preserve our air and water quality in New Mexico,” says Dr. Lucy Boulanger, a public health expert with Physicians for Social Responsibility.

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. Should the New Mexico Environmental Law Center and New Energy Economy be granted a hearing and the petition be passed, New Mexico would lead the nation with the most significant and strongest regulations in the United States.

“The science is clear that global warming is underway, and we must take immediate action,” says 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.”

New Energy Economy participated in Governor Richardson’s Climate Change Advisory Group, which released a report in December 2006 that created a plan to reduce emissions in New Mexico back to 1990 levels by 2020.  Other states, including California, Washington, and Massachusetts, have adopted legislation to reduce emissions in their states, but all targets thus far fall short of what scientists say is necessary to protect the planet from dangerous climate change.

“The EIB has the authority under existing law to implement statewide limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and we have asked them to exercise that authority in a manner consistent with the latest scientific consensus on climate change,” says Frederick.                

The mission of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center is to protect New Mexico’s natural environment and communities through legal and policy advocacy, and public education. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s attorneys have handled over 100 critical cases in low-income and minority communities fighting pollution and environmental degradation. The Law Center charges few, if any, fees to its clients, most of whom are from Hispanic and Native American communities. The NMELC is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2008. Membership and gifts help New Mexico communities protect their natural environment and their health from toxic pollution, the degrading effects of growth and liabilities created by irresponsible mining. Contact: Sebia Hawkins, Director of Development 505-989-9022.


Jennifer Marshall