Letters to the Editor, Feb. 15, 2019
Steve Clarke of the San Juan County Democratic Party recently attacked my organization as being “partisan” due to our concerns over effort to shut down San Juan Generating Station and shift the costs to New Mexico rate-payers. He also cited our efforts to educate Albuquerque voters on the drawbacks to plastic bag bans.
Clarke conflates having an opinion with “partisanship.” My organization is registered as a 501c3 under the IRS code. We studiously comply with their rules. Nowhere does it say that we have to give up our viewpoint on pressing policy issues of the day.
He is welcome to disagree with our analysis of the costs of renewable mandates or shutting down San Juan Generating Station, but unfortunately, as is so often the case in modern political debates, people would rather question the motives or funding of people than debate them with facts and data.
If Mr. Clarke or anyone affiliated with his Party would like to have a debate on the facts, we stand ready to do so.
Paul J. Gessing
President, Rio Grande Foundation
Praise for the governor, from out of state
Climate change is already having serious and severe impacts in New Mexico. Higher temperatures and more frequent droughts have ravaged the agriculture and livestock industries, and increased the severity of wildfires, with 70 percent of the state’s population now living in an area of elevated wildfire risk. Growing more deadly each year, wildfires also have long lasting effects on air quality and public health.
We praise the governor’s leadership on this issue. Her new executive order, which sets new carbon emission goals and puts a price on carbon, is a key step forward for the state. Implementing a state-wide price on carbon emissions is an effective way to reduce emissions while protecting the economy and promoting innovation.
In introducing a market based approach to emissions reductions, New Mexico would join a growing list of states that have adopted or are in the process of developing a carbon pricing program including California, Oregon, and Utah.
Last year, Climate XChange released a study in response to the State Senate’s 2018 memorial calling for a study to be done on how a carbon fee could be implemented in an equitable way. We made 24 recommendations, addressing the technical details necessary to create a carbon pricing program that is impactful, equitable, and beneficial to the state.
The three key findings were that first, it is possible for New Mexico to take leadership on this issue; second, the state can address carbon pollution without adversely impacting the economic growth; and finally, with proper protections in place, it can design a policy that guarantees protection for the most vulnerable households and communities.
There is now great opportunity in New Mexico for real action against climate change. With bold leadership and a price on carbon, the state can become a national leader in addressing the threats of climate change. \