Hot on the tail of President Joe Biden’s announcement of climate change goals, the Climate Solutions Act has been filed in the New Mexico Legislature.
House Bill 9 imagines a greener economic future for New Mexico – one that uses sustainable energy. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Las Cruces) and Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque). In a press conference on Thursday, they discussed how they say the bill will help N.M. reduce its carbon footprint and create high-quality jobs in the state.
Rep. Stansbury explained how it was the first of its kind climate bill to help put N.M. on a net-zero carbon path for the future. “It will build a more sustainable and resilient economy for our communities,” Rep. Stansbury elaborated. “What this bill does is create the framework to institutionalize the work Gov. Lujan-Grisham has been leading nationally and to help N.M. get on a zero-carbon future.”
The state has set a lofty goal of getting to zero carbon by 2045 with a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. HB 9 includes a plan to develop New Mexico’s first climate council, which would be housed under the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Dept. The council would work with N.M. communities to create jobs, training and a new tax-base during the transition moving away from the state’s dependence on revenues from extractive industries such as oil and gas. The council would also recommend how to prioritize funding from the Clean Energy Grants Fund. HB 9 also sets a target of 60 percent reduction by 2030 in methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the oil and gas sector from 2005 levels.
“The bill is an opportunity to create a path of recovery that focuses on modeling environmentally conscious economical development,” Rep. Rubio explained. “This is resulting in a fairer economy where all New Mexicans prosper, so many of the people are really concerned about how we move forward; and this is one step of getting us closer to that, especially in disproportionately impacted and historically disadvantaged communities.”
The bill mirrors Gov. Lujan Grisham’s executive order in setting these overall carbon targets and directs the agencies across all sectors of N.M.’s economy to put policies, rules and partnerships into place that will help the state achieve carbon reduction goals.